The opportunistic teacher who embraces the leisure interests of his pupils in the hope of leading them to higher things is as frequently unsympathetic to the really valuable qualities of popular culture as his colleague who remains resolutely hostile. A true training in discrimination is concerned with pleasure.
Corita Kent (1918–1986) was an artist, educator, and advocate for social justice. At age 18 she entered the religious order Immaculate Heart of Mary, eventually teaching in and then heading up the art department at Immaculate Heart College in Los Angeles, California. Her work evolved from figurative and religious to incorporating advertising images and slogans, popular song lyrics, biblical verses, and literature. Throughout the ‘60s, her work became increasingly political, urging viewers to consider poverty, racism, and injustice. At the time of her death, she had created almost 800 serigraph editions, thousands of watercolors, and innumerable public and private commissions.
Often Corita would take her students to a local car wash, grocery store or tire store, armed with a paper viewfinder, like the frame in a camera lens through which to look at the place. The Corita Art Center gives out these frames to remind people to look at the world in many different ways. Corita also had some sage advice about film viewing: "Don't Blink." As a Catholic nun helping advance media literacy through my work as founding director of the Pauline Center for Media Studies in Culver City, CA, I teach courses on media literacy for catechists and adults. I write and review film and television for the National Catholic Reporter and other outlets. I love being a Daughter of St. Paul and the many facets of our Pauline mission of communicating God’s love though – and about – media and modern communications. The best way to describe our ministry is that it aims to bridge faith and life, and this was a major part of Corita Kent's work as an artist and educator, where she reminded us that there is infinite beauty in the world around us and we can find it in unexpected places and in unpected ways.