“I felt like Alice in Wonderland who’d fallen down the rabbit hole because I walked in and was absolutely enamored with toothpick structures hanging everywhere, and banners, and folk art, and student silkscreen prints in bright colors…"
—Lucia Capacchione, student of Corita
(as cited in Carrera, 2013, p. 36)
Corita taught classes in the art department at Immaculate Heart College in Los Angeles from 1947 to 1968, eventually becoming the chairman of the department in 1964. The works below were made by student artists under Corita's tutelage in the 1950s and were previously part of an exhibit hosted by the Catherine G. Murphy Gallery at St. Catherine University.
As with Corita's work, many of these pieces use religious symbolism and convey themes of labor, leisure, politics, and social justice. Similar themes are evoked by students today as part of the St. Kate's Empty Bowls Project spearheaded by the St. Catherine University Art and Art History Department and the Clay Club.
Corita's innovative approach to teaching is evidenced in her list of rules which eventually became the official rules of the Immaculate Heart College Art Department and end with the "helpful hint" to "save everything." That advice is particularly appropriate for this exhibit as the journey these somewhat obscure works took from California in the 1950s to the St. Kate's Fine Art Collection is unknown.
The Art Assignment. (2019, March 14). Art + life rules from a nun [Video]. YouTube. https://youtu.be/IRPyql3cezo
Carrera, A. (2013). Oral history. In I. Berry, & M. Duncan, (Eds.), Someday is now: The art of Corita Kent (pp. 32-99). The Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery at Skidmore College.
The Catherine G. Murphy Gallery. (n.d.-a). "Look at this, and look again, and see anew." - Corita. St. Catherine University. http://gallery.stkate.edu/exhibitions/look-at-this,-and-look-again,-and-see-anew.-corita
The Catherine G. Murphy Gallery. (n.d.-b). St. Kate's empty bowls project virtual soup social & silent auction. St. Catherine University. http://gallery.stkate.edu/gallery-events/virtual-soup-social-lunches
Hammer Museum. (n.d.). Teaching. Corita Kent in the Grunwald Center Collection. https://hammer.ucla.edu/collections/grunwald-center-collection/corita-kent/art/themes/teaching