Hello again, everyone. I’ve been keeping my head down this last month clearing some big projects off my desk. Lately I’ve been thinking about the work of Sister Corita Kent, whose artwork I’ve always admired but haven’t studied in years. Rather than a “Friday Finds” review of news from the art world (I suspect I’m not alone in my desire to hide out from the news), I thought it might be more satisfying to feature a profile of Corita Kent’s life and brave, bright, uplifting artwork. Much of the following biographical information was sourced from the Corita Art Center’s excellent website about their namesake (http://www.corita.org/index.html). The Corita Art Center in Los Angeles was created to maintain and exhibit the collection of prints, paintings, and copyrights willed to the Order of the Immaculate Heart of Mary by Kent.
Corita Kent was born in 1918 in Fort Dodge, Iowa as Frances Kent and was raised in Los Angeles, California. At the age of 18 she became a nun and joined the Order of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, where she took the name Sister Mary Corita.
She graduated from Immaculate Heart College in 1941 and later worked there as an at professor, eventually becoming Chairman of the Art Department in 1964. Her formal education also included earning a master’s degree in art history from the University of Southern California.
Kent’s leadership as head of the Art Department fostered a Renaissance environment enlivened by visits from pioneering contemporary artists, designers and musicians including Charles and Ray Eames, Buckminster Fuller, and John Cage. Artist Ben Shahn dubbed Kent a “joyous revolutionary.” Contrary to the withdrawn life one might expect for a nun, Kent lectured widely, appeared frequently in media interviews, and was on the cover of Newsweek in 1967. Read More