Corita Kent: from Catholic nun to avant-garde artist
Corita Kent or Sister Mary Corita Kent, was born in Iowa. She worked almost exclusively with silkscreen, or serigraphy, helping to establish it as a fine art medium. Her artwork, with its messages of love and peace is particularly popular.
Upon entering the Roman Catholic order of Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary in Los Angeles in 1936, Kent took the name Sister Mary Corita. She took classes at Otis and Chouinard Art Institute and earned her BA from Immaculate Heart College in 1941.
She earned her MA at the University of Southern California in Art History in 1951. Between 1938 and 1968 Kent lived and worked in the Immaculate Heart Community. She taught in the Immaculate Heart College and was the chair of its art department. She left the order in 1968 and moved to Boston, where she devoted herself to making art.
Her classes at Immaculate Heart were an avant-garde mecca for prominent, ground-breaking artists and inventors, such as Alfred Hitchcock, John Cage, Saul Bass, Buckminster Fuller and Charles & Ray Eames.
Corita Kent began using popular culture as raw material for her work in 1962. Her screen prints often incorporated the archetypical product of brands of American consumerism alongside spiritual texts.