“Visual Art shows forth the transcendent Beauty of Christ. Every beautiful form possesses an openness to the infinite, but some beautiful forms possess this more than others.” (Hans Urs Von Balthasar)

Beginning with communal Evening Prayer, Theological College opened its Corita Kent art exhibit on February 3 with the entire seminary community and two dozen invited guests. The show, which is open for viewing until March 4, features serigraphs of the iconic artist which have never been on public display before.

The exhibit, titled “Beauty and the Priest: Preaching with the Artwork of Corita Kent,” is connected to the rector’s thesis project on preaching and art, focusing on how the preacher can turn to the art world for homiletic inspiration. Fr. Ciriaco’s thesis explores the question, “How do we see the world around us and interpret what we see to compliment the message of the Gospels?”

As Fr. Ciriaco explained to all in attendance, Corita Kent (1918-1986) approached beauty through the creative experience, moving away from traditional images and understanding of beauty and diving deeper into the ordinary, everyday realities to discover beauty. A sister in the order of the Immaculate Heart of Mary for many years, her work evolved from figurative and religious to Pop Art style, incorporating advertising images and slogans, popular song lyrics, and biblical verses. Her work reflects the social unrest and injustices as well as the impetus toward change during the 1960s. Vatican II’s call to promote Church teaching more effectively through evangelization was the inspiration behind many of her serigraphs. Through them, she spoke out against war, poverty, and racism. Her artworks became her pulpit, tools to preach the Gospel and challenge people to put their faith into practice.

Above image: miraculous draught of fishes (1956)

Open for viewing Monday–Friday  9 am–4 pm and weekends by appointment only.
To schedule a tour of the exhibit contact: [email protected] or (202) 756-4914.