Australian Children's Museum Displays Artwork

ARTColumbus and kidscommons, a Columbus, Indiana children's museum, co-sponsored an international mail art show in which children were encouraged to draw self-portraits or express ideas about the future. To participate, kids simply illustrated the theme and mailed the art. The call for entries was extended via the Internet and in national magazines and newspapers.

Nearly 140 of the 1,000 pieces of art entered in the American Mail Art 2000 Show were sent to Boorai: The Children’s Art Gallery which is affiliated with the University of Melbourne in Australia. Children from Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Italy, Japan, Mexico and the United States were represented, and the artwork was on display from May 22 to September 15, 2000.

Jan Deans, Director of the Early Learning Centre at the university, writes that the artwork was enjoyed by children, families, and a wide range of visitors, including early childhood teachers and administrators from China and Singapore. Nearly 700 people visited the exhibit which has inspired Australian professionals to begin collecting children's thoughts and ideas via the postcard format.

The images shown here are of Australian children seated below the display, discussing the mail art, and creating their own artwork. To find out more about the University of Melbourne’s Early Learning Center, visit The staff expects to extend the site in 2001, making the Boorai (The Children’s Art Gallery) section available for use as a teaching tool.

Visiting Children
Pose with Art

Young Art Critics
Discuss Works

Children Creating
Their Own Artworks

The Mail Your Art 2000 activity was created and written by Marilyn Brackney in collaboration with Belgian artist Guido Vermeulen. Working with Kidscommons, a Columbus, Indiana children’s museum, and ARTColumbus, a group of visual artists, Brackney posted the activity at The Imagination Factory. Thirty of the total American show entries were sent to Brussels, Belgium for display in April, 2000, and nearly 140 pieces of art were sent in August to BOORAI: The Children’s Gallery which is affiliated with the University of Melbourne in Australia.

Poster Recognizes Children’s Artwork

Click on image to enlarge it.Kidscommons has just released a poster that recognizes young artists who sent mail art to the museum for an exhibit held in 2000. ARTColumbus and kidscommons were the American sponsors of the Living in the Mirror Mail Art Show, an international mail art project for children. In celebration of the new millennium, children were asked to draw self-portraits or to create artwork that showed their hopes and dreams for the future and mail their entries to the museum. More than 1,000 entries from throughout the United States ane nine foreign countries were received.

Children who entered the American show recently received the posters in recognition of their participation. InClick on image to enlarge it. addition to a list of the names of all who entered, the posters feature selected children’s artwork. The Columbus Area Arts Council (Regional Partner Organization), the Indiana Arts Commission, the National Endowment for the Arts, and Pentzer Printing provided financial support for printing the mail art documents.

Click on image to enlarge it.


© 2000 Marilyn J. Brackney

Volume 14 No. 3

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