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Mail Art Exchange


From: PROPST, JAN (THSJMP01_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Tue Dec 03 2002 - 10:08:58 PST

Dear Fellow Art Teachers

I assigned a mail art project for my Drawing and Painting classes (see
lesson below) Would anyone be interested in exchanging a class' work
one of my classes? The work is innovative and addresses themes from
United Nations Charter. My students- grades 10-12, would enjoy getting
returned pieces of art! our semester ends mid-January, so we would
to get mail from you by then.

Feel free to copy and use the lesson plans.

Jan in Holland, MI
 I tried to attatch this with pictures, but apparently it was too
large- let me know if you'd like me to email thi to you personally!

Postal art is art that travels the planet via the international postal
system. The "art" consists of the continuous interchange between
participants, and includes such objects as collages, photocopies,
drawings, little paintings, postcards, magazines, limited edition
"zines", little magazines, writing, poetry, found art, posters, games,
3-dimensional objects, rubber stamp art, audio and video tapes, etc.
that are mailed. Postal Art, takes many forms, but two main categories
are (1) one-to-one correspondence between individuals and (2) postal art
shows. Since it's inception in the early part of this century and wider
dissemination in the 1960's, 70's and 80's, postal art has proven to be
an effective tool to promote peace, human rights, and mutual
understanding between people of diverse backgrounds. The free exchange
of ideas that is a cornerstone of this participatory network provides a
greater awareness of other cultures. The concept of art-as-a-gift is a
much needed one on this planet at this time. The rich history of shared
acts of creativity- from making dinner to making mail art- needs to be
revived and examined as a strategy for bringing meaning into our lives.

The international postal art network provides a model for communication
across boundaries that separate us. Artists in Eastern Europe used it to
communicate with the West. Mail artists in South American countries were
jailed for sending it. Today, artists in the former Yugoslavia and Cuba
reach out to the rest of the world via postal art, requesting contact
and help in understanding the crises that have isolated them.
As we see our world facing possible conflict and disparity, your goal
will be to design a postal art piece that promotes one of the following
listed subjects. These topics are gathered from themes outlined in the
United Nations charter.
human rights
intellectual property
world health
social development
economic development
international law
aid to children
aid to refugees
fighting hunger

For this assignment you will be creating a piece of art that will be
mailed to another high school artist. Once it has been stamped, and
viewed, it becomes "published". We will be asking them to return a
mailed art piece back to you.


Your work must fit into these size dimensions:,
No smaller than 31/2" X 5",
No larger than 61/8"H X 111/2" W
No thicker than ".
Three-dimensional forms have few limits other than they can not have
any sharp objects protruding.

Choose the subject you are interested in and then begin drawing out
idea sketches. Please compose at least 10 ideas. Determine whether or
not you will be working in color or black and white.

Because we are part of a public school, you will have to abide by the
rules regarding appropriate language and symbols.

Select a size and or 3-d form within the size restrictions.

Construct your piece.

Prior to sending your work, please scan or photograph it for your

You will be graded on your ability to organize principles and functions
to solve the problem of communicating an idea to another person/people
Key Concepts:
Use of the elements of art: line, shape, form, color, value, texture,
Use of Principles of design: movement, contrast, unity, pattern,
rhythm, balance, emphasis.
Negative Space-space outside of main shape
Rhythm- regular or irregular repetition of pattern