the life & art of CORITA KENT
A TRUE TALE WITH
A CHERRY ON TOP
Enchanted Lion Books
(pub.9.7.2021) 80 pages
Author: Matthew Burgess
Character: Corita Kent
"Corita Kent (1918–1986) lived a remarkable life as an artist, educator, nun, and activist. Unapologetically holding true to herself and her beliefs, Corita spread a powerful message of love, hope, and justice with her work, as it evolved from figurative and religious art, to serigraphs incorporating the sacred and the ordinary, to a sparser, more introspective style.
This timely story will draw readers into the life of a singular woman whose work and commitment invite us all to seek joy in the everyday, to observe the world with open eyes, and to question and see beyond the existing frameworks of society."
" As an art teacher, Corita was serious about PLAY. She believed the best work is done when play and work are one.
She even created a new word: PLORK
In one assignment, Corita asked her students to cut a small window into a piece of cardboard to make a FINDER.
Together, they walked down Hollywood Boulevard to a gas station, car wash, and supermarket. She wanted her students to look at ordinary things until the little details came alive.
Pretend you are a microscope
'New ideas are bursting all around and all this comes into YOU and is changed by YOU.'"
And something more: Matthew Burgess, in the Author's Note, explains that "Like Keith Haring, another one of my artistic heroes, Corita believed that art is for everyone...Corita also believed that every person possesses creative potential, and as a teacher myself, I wholeheartedly agree."
Kara Kramer, in the Illustrator's Note, shares that "... I'm deeply grateful for this experience to collaborate with Claudia [at Enchanged Lion] and Matthew, and I like to think Corita, too, who seemed to be in the very air around me, especially in the beginning of this process. I remember walking my dog one day in Brooklyn and stopping because right there at my feet was a bag of popcorn, with the words 'fresh and hot,' printed in red, and a bird close by eating the crumbs. It felt likeg Corita was winking at me, reminding me to 'Go Slow,' and notice the WONDER happenin right before my eyes."