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Mail art.

Since 1988, the KidsArt Mail Art Exchange has offered students a unique opportunity to share their artwork with "pen pals" around the world. Sponsored by the KidsArt Children's Art supply catalog, the program is simple, exciting and free.

Based on the principles of international mail art, there's no competition, no censorship and very few rules to the KidsArt Mail Art Exchange. Children create an art envelope in any medium they choose. Pencil, watercolor, collage, printmaking, crayon and handmade paper are a just few of the possibilities. The only limitation is that their art must be sturdy enough to travel through the mail. "No lumps, no bumps, no sticky paint," states the instruction sheet.

The art envelope is mailed to Kidsart with its maker's name, age or grade and return address in the corner. Inside the decorated envelope, the child places a self-addressed stamped envelope. Many children also include a letter for their future correspondent, a school picture and even more artwork.

At Kidsart, each entry is matched with another. The art envelopes are carefully opened, slipped into the return envelope and mailed back. Each child receives another's art envelope and address. Children can go on to correspond with their new friend as desired, or may enter the Mail Art Exchange again and start a whole collection of art envelopes from around the world.

Art classes, elementary grades, scout troops and preschools have taken part in the KidsArt Mail Art Exchange. Teachers use the program to enrich social studies, geography and writing units. Students of all ages, even teachers, have been known to enjoy swapping art with strangers who soon become friends.

For an instruction sheet, please send your name, address and two 29 cents postage stamps to KidsArt Mail Art Exchange, P.O. Box 274, Mt. Shasta, CA 96067 ... and get ready to create some exciting mail art with your students!
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No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1992, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Title Annotation:KidsArt Mail Art Exchange
Author:Solga, Kim
Publication:School Arts
Date:Feb 1, 1992
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