Previous Exhibit - Always Be Around

Poster for "Always Be Around: Corita Kent, Community and Pedagogy." The poster has images of polaroids with notes written on them. Beneath the picture of polaroids is a list of the contemporary artists featured in the show: Mary Banas and Breanne Trammell, Lukaza Branfman-Verissimo, Roz Crews, Jen Delos Reyes, Christine Sun Kim, Jorge Lucero, Mary Lum, Maria del Carmen Montoya, Aaron Rose and Lee Walton. At the bottom the poster displays the dates for the show: October 2nd through December 15th.

Always Be Around: Corita Kent, Community, and Pedagogy
October 2nd through December 15th 2023

The Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Art Gallery at the College of the Holy Cross is pleased to present the exhibition “Always Be Around: Corita Kent, Community, and Pedagogy.” Featuring the work of Corita Kent (1918-1986), a pop artist, educator, social justice advocate and former religious sister, the exhibition will run from Oct. 2 through Dec. 15 in the Gallery’s new home within the Prior Performing Arts Center.

The exhibition is guest-curated by Rachelle Beaudoin, Professor of Practice in the Department of Visual Arts at Holy Cross. An opening lecture and reception are scheduled for Oct. 5 at 4 p.m.

Corita Kent’s art will appear alongside the works of contemporary artists showing her continued influence upon younger generations. Breanne Trammell, Mary Banas, Lukaza Branfman-Verissimo, Roz Crews, Jen Delos Reyes, Christine Sun Kim, Jorge Lucero, Mary Lum, Maria del Carmen Montoya, Aaron Rose and Lee Walton will all be featured.

A Massachusetts resident also known as Sister Mary Corita, Corita Kent created serigraph prints by combining imagery from advertising and newspapers with text ranging from Bible verses to slogans, song lyrics and literature.

By pairing Corita’s work with a contemporary response, the exhibition will explore how her communal and collaborative processes paved the way for other artists, each of whom integrates teaching and collective activism into their practice. This exhibition paints a full picture of Corita as a pioneer and precursor to the work of other artists. The artists in the exhibition will engage with the community in the creation of art through events, classes, workshops and performances.

Corita’s art builds upon her reputation as an outstanding and innovative educator. The exhibition connects her teaching practice to the work of contemporary socially engaged art and artist educators. Corita asked her students to look carefully and to draw and redraw. Her students looked at the world differently to frame what is normally overlooked. She wanted them to use anything and everything as a source for art making. She taught and lived the idea that "to create means to relate."

"As an artist and an educator, I kept coming back to Corita’s Kent’s work, especially in challenging times," Beaudoin said. "I knew that other artists had a similar respect and admiration for her work and I saw her influence in the work of other artists. It is exciting to bring together this group of artists and to view their work through the lens of Corita Kent’s varied practice."

This exhibition has been awarded support from the Greater Worcester Community Foundation. Nathan Howard, ‘25, a Weiss Summer Research Fellow, also contributed to the exhibition. Special thanks to Olivian Cha and Nellie Scott of Corita Art Center for their support of this exhibition. For more information on Corita Kent, visit Corita Art Center, Los Angeles,

Breanne Trammell and Mary Banas
The two collaborate as BMTMB. Across various forms such as bumper stickers, broadsheets, postcards, buttons, and banners, their work responds to the existential crisis of contemporary American life.

Lukaza Branfman-Verissimo
With large-scale murals and roots in storytelling, Branfman-Verissimo’s work is informed by their commitment to craft and community, engagement with society, and interest in preserving and broadcasting B.I.Q.T.P.O.C. stories.

Roz Crews
An artist who uses curatorial strategies to produce public programs, events and performances, Crews will recreate the 1964 Mary’s Day event, where Corita transitioned a traditional and solemn holy day into a celebration of everyday life, religious observance and feminism. Roz Crews plans to recreate this event with a focus on LGBTQIA+ rights, awareness and calls for equity.

Jen Delos Reyes
Delos Reyes an artist, educator, writer and radical community arts organizer, presents the "Ghosts of Arts Schools Past." Displaying aspects of her classroom project, the piece invites students to research and then embody the pedagogies of influential historical art schools.

Christine Sun Kim
American artist based in Berlin, Kim's practice considers how sound operates in society, deconstructing the politics of sound and exploring how oral languages operate as social currency. In her contribution to the exhibition, drawing from popular culture, Kim uses a Simpsons reference to humorously critique and advocate for changes in American society.

Jorge Lucero
Formerly a Chicago Public School teacher, Lucero currently serves as Associate Dean for Research and Associate Professor in the College of Fine and Applied Arts at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Lucero will lead a workshop for the Holy Cross faculty in September. In the workshop, participants examined and reflected on permissions from artists, predecessors, peers, mentors and other creative "things" that we live with.

Mary Lum
Lum is a visual artist whose intricate collages, paintings, photographs and murals explore the margins of city life, the history of abstraction, and the use of text as images. Lum scours everyday sites for visual inspiration, cutting, layering and reversing text, to draw attention to shape, pattern and repetition often rendering the text itself illegible.

Maria del Carmen Montoya
Montoya operates between art and social activism. Her primary medium is the communal process of making meaning. As an artist, her methodology is dialogic and collaborative. Montoya’s interactive piece asks visitors to consider their own educational experiences, how we teach and learn, advocating for openness and radical vulnerability.

Aaron Rose
Rose is a Los Angeles-based artist, writer, curator and filmmaker. His 2009 film, "Become a Microscope" includes archival 16mm footage shot in the 1960s in Los Angeles and interviews with Corita's former students and colleagues. The film will be screened on Oct. 19 as a part of the exhibition.

Lee Walton
Walton is an artist with an expanded practice that spans new media, performance and social practice. Lee's experiential art employs a system of rules, chance and open collaboration. Walton collected contributions by artists dedicated to social justice for this contemporary take on Corita’s "ten rules."

Other events:

Oct. 5, Rehm Library, 4 p.m. - "There Should Be New Rules Next Week: Nellie Scott and Jen Delos Reyes on the Work of Corita Kent," Opening Discussion, Rehm Library

Oct. 5, Cantor Art Gallery 5:30 p.m. - Opening Reception

Oct. 19, Booth Media Lab, 4 p.m. – Film Screening: "Become a Microscope," by Aaron Rose. Discussion to follow with Rachelle Beaudoin and Nathan Howard ‘25

Oct. 25, Cantor Art Gallery, 4 p.m. – Justin Poché, "The Prophetic Art of Corita Kent," gallery talk

Oct. 27, Prior Performing Arts Center, 1 p.m. – "How to Write a Song that Matters," workshop with Dar Williams

Oct. 27, Luth Concert Hall, Prior Performing Arts Center, 7:30 p.m. – Concert by singer-songwriter Dar Williams | Buy Tickets

Nov. 2 Cantor Art Gallery, 6 p.m. – Gallery Tour in ASL and Spoken English with Professor Stephanie Clark and Professor Rachelle Beaudoin

Nov. 9, Millard Art Center, 3 p.m. – Poster Making Workshop with artist Roz Crews

Nov. 20, Prior Performing Arts Center Beehive, 4 p.m. – Mary’s Day Reenactment by artist Roz Crews