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Stamps to Celebrate Diverse Expressions of Art

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WASHINGTON - Captivating expressions of Native American art will be
commemorated Aug. 21 in Santa Fe, N.M., when the U.S. Postal Service issues
37-cent "Art of the American Indian" commemorative postage stamps (set of
10) and a booklet of 23-cent stamped postal cards depicting the beauty,
richness and diversity of talent by artists from several American Indian
tribes.

The first-day-of-issue stamp dedication ceremony will take place at 11 a.m.
(Mountain Time) on the Plaza Stage during the Santa Fe Indian Market. This
annual event, sponsored by the Southwestern Association for Indian Arts
(SWAIA), draws some 1,200 Indian artists who market their creations to
100,000 visitors.

"These stamps represent a small sampling of the diverse ways that Native
Americans created objects used in their everyday lives that were also
extraordinary expressions of beauty," said Chief Marketing Officer and
Senior Vice President Anita Bizzotto, who is scheduled to dedicate the
stamps.

Joining Bizzotto in dedicating the stamps will be SWAIA Executive Director
Jai Lakshman. "The Santa Fe Indian Market is greatly honored to provide the
host-setting for the release of these stamps," he said. "The pieces
featured remind all Americans of the extraordinary vision and talent of the
American Indian artists who have paved the way for Native artists who
continue to share their gifts of creativity today."

Creative expression continues to flourish among American Indian artists
today. Some still create traditional forms; others are expanding their
artistic endeavors in new directions in the fields of painting, sculpture,
photography, printmaking, video and performance art.

The pane of 10 jumbo, self-adhesive stamps features photographs of American
Indian artifacts dating from around the 11th century A.D. to circa 1969.
John Stevens, a calligrapher in Winston-Salem, N.C., designed and created
the lettering in the title. Descriptive text on the back of the stamps
includes an overview and specific information about each of the 10 objects.
Many of these objects continue to be created by artists today.

Santa Fe, as host city for this first-day-of-issue dedication ceremony,
will be the only city in the nation where the "Art of the American Indian"
stamps and stamped postal cards are available Aug. 21. They will be
available at post offices and philatelic centers nationwide beginning Aug.
23.