Stamping out Injustice and Terrorism

By Gatto, Joseph | School Arts, September 2002 | Go to article overview

Stamping out Injustice and Terrorism


Gatto, Joseph, School Arts


Several years ago, I gave my students an assignment to design mail art to be sent to the major art schools where they sought admission. The results were extremely successful, with many students being accepted into the art schools of their choice. By extension, students began sending me some of their pieces that eventually became a personal collection that I cherish.

Approximately two years ago, the Kennedy Center honored the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts as a Distinguished School. Ironically, the Kennedy Center could not accommodate visual artists with display space for student work, so we were, in effect, dis-invited to the awards reception. Once again, our student artists used their creative potential to work with postage stamps. Using cancelled postage stamps from all over the world as the catalyst for their artwork, students responded. They made more than 1200 pieces of original stamp art--mounted on cards and printed on envelopes. Patrons of the Kennedy Center received the artwork as they entered the hall to honor the performing arts students in action. The visual arts contribution to the gala event was known as the "At Arm's Length Gallery." Students mailed other pieces of stamp art to political, civic, and education leaders as part of Arts Advocacy Week held simultaneously in the nation's capital.

The Continuation of the Assignment

When the events of September 11 occurred, many responded in their own way. …

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