This series of striking posters is the work of Sister Mary Corita Kent, a progressive Roman Catholic nun known for her pop art creations. Born in 1918 and educated in California, she left the church in 1968 to pursue her love of art full time. Kent was influenced by the unconventional work of poet E.E. Cummings and artist Andy Warhol, and her distinctive posters addressed social issues of the times – war, poverty and racism.
Like other pop artists of the day, Corita Kent referenced logos, packaging and graphics from American culture in her pieces. The combination of bold, in-your-face silkscreen images and an electric colour palette command the viewer’s attention. Her timely messages resonated with young people, for they were both provoking and clever. In 1966 the Los Angeles Times recognized her as one of their “Women of the Year,” and one year later she appeared on the cover of Newsweek magazine under the headline “The Nun: Going Modern.” In 2016 the American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA) recognized Kent's body of work with an AIGA medal “...for her inventive use of graphic type and vibrant color in communicating messages of protest and social change.”