As a novice art fan and beginning artist, I can't believe I had never heard of Corita Kent and her book with Jan Steward Learning by Heart: Teachings to Free the Creative Spirit. But until I ran across a tweet and blog post from writer and ideas curator Austin Kleon, I just didn't know a thing about this incredible woman, art teacher, and artist. As an educator, I am constantly thinking about my practice and how I engage students in learning, and I like to incorporate ideas of art and views of artists in lessons when I can. So, I am currently reading Learning By Heart in preparation for the new year. And it's making me want to both teach English and create art with a renewed passion.
For both educators and artists, Sister Mary Corita is a subject worth learning more about. Corita was an innovative teacher and artist at the historic Immaculate Heart College in Los Angeles, where she taught art and pushed students to challenge themselves personally and artistically. In the stories I've heard, her true gift is her legacy in creating a new generation of art teachers through her unique approach to art and education. We could all benefit from the wisdom and guidance of Sister Mary.