Corita Kent, the ex-nun-turned-artist who rose to fame in the 1960s, used graphic design and poster art to protest the Vietnam War and advocate for Amnesty International. At nearly the same time, Martin Luther King, Jr., as most of the world knows by now, led a monumentally significant movement to fight for civil rights and equality in the United States. Both were inspired by their own theologies, eventually influencing decades of activists with their individual modes of social action.
So it makes sense that the Pasadena Museum of California Art would take the opportunity to celebrate the giants in the same weekend. The art haven is staging the Kent-centric exhibition "Someday is Now: The Art of Corita Kent" this summer, presenting 30 years worth of the designer's printmaking, posters, banners and pop-inspired advocacy. In anticipation of the show, and in tribute to Martin Luther King Day, the museum is staging a community arts festival aptly named "Get With The Action."
Sister Mathias (IHC choral director) leading Mary’s Day Parade, Immaculate Heart College, Los Angeles 1964. Reproduction permission of the Corita Art Center, Immaculate Heart Community, Los Angeles.
The festival, including a procession, original art-making and a picnic with food trucks, will take place on Saturday, January 17 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at All Saints Church in Pasadena, California. Inspired by Kent's own community arts festivals held in the 1960s -- “Mary’s Days," the procession will begin at All Saints Church and proceed to the public health organization Day One and finally the Pasadena Museum of California Art.
"'Get With the Action: A Community Art Festival' is a tribute to the contributions of both Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Sister Corita Kent, and their commitment to the Civil Rights Movement, the War On Poverty, and the Peace Movement," the museum wrote in a press release for the event.
a passion for the possible, 1969, Silkscreen print on paper, 23 1/8 x 12 inches, Collection: Corita Art Center, Immaculate Heart Community, Los Angeles, CA. Photograph by Arthur Evans, courtesy of the Tang Museum at Skidmore College.