Reading about Corita Kent at {pages}: a bookstore

This past Thursday evening I attended a book reading at my local independent bookstore, {pages}. April Dammann, author of Corita Kent. Art and Soul. The Biography. (Angel City Press), spoke to us about the wonderful artist and teacher of the 1960s formerly known as Sister Mary Corita.

I was most interested in attending this event because I have four of Corita’s serigraphs hanging on my family room wall. I fell in love with them in the 1960s when I first heard of this rebellious nun, modern artist, and activist for social justice who combined bright colors, whimsical shapes, and political and/or literary messages in her artwork. And I still enjoy having her work in my house. Her work is relevant. Her messages are universal.

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For example, she wrote two messages in the Life piece (upper right):

  • “Life is a complicated business fraught with mystery and some sunshine.” P. Roth
  • “Let the morning time drop all its petals on me. Life I love you. All is groovy.” Simon & Garfunkel

In the lower right, the message says:

  • “Some people see things that are and say why? I dream of things that never were and say why not.” G. B. Shaw

By the way, I found it coincidental that the name of my publishing house for my memoir, Leaving the Hall Light On, is Dream of Things. Could Corita’s serigraph that’s been hanging on my wall for over forty years led me there?

If you are as much a Corita Kent fan as I am, I recommend Author April Dammann’s painstakingly researched book.

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On another note, I received the following from {pages}. I feel it is so important that we keep this generous and supportive bookstore alive (I’ve had at least five readings there), I’m reproducing it verbatim.

Dear Friends:

Help!   The cost of operating a bookstore in downtown Manhattan Beach continues to escalate!!  Increased competition from Amazon, Target, Costco, The Point and Del Amo does not help.  We hear from so many people that the South Bay loves {pages} and that it’s so great having a bookstore in downtown Manhattan Beach.  However, the reality is FOR US TO CONTINUE, WE NEED YOU TO SHOP AT {PAGES}!!  Today, once a week, every month, several times a year!  Every little bit will make a difference.  #buyabook from {pages}.

There are many ways you can help.  Tell your friends about us…Don’t buy books from Amazon (please)… Instead, give a beautifully wrapped, hand-picked book as a gift…  buy and donate books to an organization of your choice…  use books to market your business…purchase your greeting cards, wrapping paper and puzzles from {pages}.  Buy {pages} scrip from your children’s school (and if it isn’t available, ask the powers that be to carry it!).  Can’t make it into the store?  Visit our website;  we are open 24:7.    Can’t find parking?  Call us and we’ll run your books out to you.  Ask us how you can help!

With great seriousness and appreciation,

Margot, Linda, Patty, Sunni & the {pages} staff 

If you live in the Los Angeles area, please buy your books at {pages}. And come on over on April 24 at 4:00 pm when I’ll be reading poetry with Chanel Brenner and Alexis Fancher, both also lost a son, on the subject of turning grief into art. Pages Bookstore Grief Reading. jpg

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