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February 15, 2011 > Hayward celebrates Corita Kent

Hayward celebrates Corita Kent

By Marlene Teel-Heim

Hayward, Portland University in Oregon, The Museum of Craft and Folk Art in San Francisco and, of course, the Corita Art Center in Los Angeles is celebrating the life and artwork of Corita Kent.

Hayward is no stranger to Corita; exhibitions of her artwork were shown at the Sun Gallery and Hayward's City Hall when she visited in the 80's. And now, 25 years later, Hayward again hosts a Corita Celebration featuring an extraordinary exhibit of prints and watercolors loaned by friends and private collectors.

Corita is one of America's most celebrated serigraph artists. Her hallmark style blends unique and colorful images with provocative texts, winning international acclaim; her original artworks can be found in major museums worldwide.

As Sister Corita, she was an art professor at Immaculate Heart College from 1951 to 1968, transforming the art department into a hub of artistic creativity. Her teaching style centered on the idea that "creativity belongs to the artist in each of us." Her work and teaching reflect spirituality, a commitment to social justice, hope for peace, and delight in the world all around us.

In 1968, Corita left the Sisters and moved to Boston, where she created numerous commissioned works as well as her own serigraphs and plein air watercolor paintings. Her work included the design of the 150-foot Boston Gas Tank, the largest copyrighted artwork on record. It stands as a beacon to pilots landing at Logan International Airport as well as commuters on the Southeast Expressway in Boston. In 1985, the U.S. Postal Service issued her Love stamp, an edition of 700 million, the largest selling stamp to date.

Corita remained active in social causes until she lost a courageous battle with cancer in 1986. A memorial exhibit and celebration of her life was held that year in Hayward at the Sun Gallery where Louise M. Davies, of Davies Symphony Hall, expressed her admiration of this remarkable woman and artist.

Her art was once a well-known symbol of the Peace Movement. Today, Corita's art transcends that era, and continues to deliver inspirations of hope and joy. In a world struggling to find meaning, this exhibition and celebration is sure to inspire and motivate both novice and connoisseur art audiences alike.

The gala reception will feature many of Corita's prints and watercolors, speakers and friends from Corita's life, and a screening of Jeffrey Hayden's award-winning documentary, "Primary Colors-The Story of Corita." Special Guest of Honor will be Darrell Hayden, Jeffrey's son, an instructor at Academy of Art University in San Francisco.

Jeffrey Hayden and his wife, Eva Marie Saint, will be joining the celebration on February 18 at Hayward City Hall.

Hayward celebrates Corita Kent
February 18 - March 17

Gala Reception:
Friday, February 18
5:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
Film showings:
5:30 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.

John O'Lague Galleria
Hayward City Hall
Open Weekdays: 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
777 B Street, Hayward
(510) 538-2787

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