Sister Corita Kent (1918-1986) was an artist, teacher, philosopher, political activist and possibly one of the most innovative and unusual pop artists of the 1960s. She was a nun in the Catholic Church until 1968 when Sister Corita sought dispensation from her vows. For over 30 years, in the heart of Los Angeles, Corita produced a variety of serigraph or screen-printed images.
As a pop artist, Corita primarily focused on text and vibrant color, manipulated type and images appropriated from the newly burgeoning consumer culture of her era. After leaving the church in the late 1960s, Corita’s works took a grand stylistic turn. She all but abandoned the neon-soaked Psychedelia of her previous works, and opted instead for a more subtle, nuanced approach to art making. Corita first taught, and subsequently became chair of the art department at Los Angeles’s Immaculate Heart College, where she became famous for her novel pedagogical methods. Her students helped produce her serigraphs, and her inventive teaching practices encouraged them to look hard and work harder, leaving a lasting impact on the way they encountered the world. With fame also came the opportunity to invite her contemporaries to speak at her lectures. Illustrious speakers including luminaries such as designers Charles and Ray Eames, composer John Cage, graphic designer Saul Bass and film director Alfred Hitchcock.