In the 1960s, artist, educator, and social justice advocate Corita Kent asked her students to collectively reimagine what a learning environment could be. Their contributions comprised the now widely recognizable Immaculate Heart College Art Department Rules (commonly referred to as “Ten Rules”). In the ensuing decades, this perennial work has gone on to lovingly hang in classrooms, studios, and homes of individuals and groups as they explore their own creative pursuits.
Now, the Ten Rules has been reimagined as an audio endeavor by dublab and Corita Art Center. Ed Ruscha, Barbara Loste, Lenore Dowling IHM, Meredith Monk, Lukaza Branfman-Verissimo, Haven Lin-Kirk, Jerry Brown, Patrick Martinez, Alexandra Grant, Roxane Gay, and L. Frank—former students and contemporaries of Corita, artists, community organizers, and thought leaders—each read from the ten rules and provide a personal reflection in their own words.
Read by Ed Ruscha
Ed Ruscha’s photography, drawing, painting, and artist books record the shifting emblems of American life in the last half century. His deadpan representations of Hollywood logos, stylized gas stations, and archetypal landscapes distil the imagery of popular culture into a language of cinematic and typographical codes that are as accessible as they are profound. Ruscha’s wry choice of words and phrases, which feature heavily in his work, draw upon the moments of incidental ambiguity implicit in the interplay between the linguistic signifier and the concept signified. Although his images are undeniably rooted in the vernacular of a closely observed American reality, his elegantly laconic art speaks to more complex and widespread issues regarding the appearance, feel, and function of the world and our tenuous and transient place within it.
Read by Barbara Loste
Barbara Loste, PhD, is a retired educator, artist, and curator based in Portland, Oregon. She collaborates with cultural non-profits in Latin America, West Africa, and the United States. Loste studied art with Corita in the late 60s, and has written extensively about her former teacher.
Read by Lenore Dowling IHM
Lenore is a native Angeleno whose parents, Alex and Leonor, immigrated from the Philippines and raised three daughters, Mary, Lenore, Alexis in Los Angeles. A member of the Immaculate Heart Community, she taught film classes in the Art Dept. with Corita at Immaculate Heart College. After the college closed in 1980, she taught at Rio Hondo Community College and retired in 2017. She has an MFA from Columbia U. and a PhD in Communications/Cinema from USC. Her family includes Arthur and Kelley, four grandchildren, and eight great grandchildren.
Read by Meredith Monk
Meredith Monk is a composer, singer, director, choreographer, filmmaker, and creator of new opera, music-theater works, films and installations. Recognized as one of the most unique and influential artists of our time, she is a pioneer of what is now called “extended vocal technique” and “interdisciplinary performance”. Celebrated internationally, her work has been presented at major venues throughout the world.
Read by Lukaza Branfman-Verissimo
Lukaza Branfman-Verissimo (they/them/Lukaza) is an artist, activist, educator, storyteller & curator who works between Lisjan Ohlone Land [Oakland, CA] and Powhatan Land [Richmond,VA]. Branfman-Verissimo’s work has been included in exhibitions and performances at Konsthall C [Stockholm, Sweden], SEPTEMBER Gallery [Kinderhook, NY], EFA Project Space [New York City, NY], Leslie Lohman Museum [New York City, NY], Yerba Buena Center for the Arts [San Francisco, CA] and Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive [Berkeley, CA], amongst others. Their most recent book, Slow Looking: These Views Are Our Tools published by Childish Books, honors Corita Kent’s viewfinder tool in a poetic and educational way.
Read by Haven Lin-Kirk
Haven Lin-Kirk is currently the Dean of the USC Roski School of Art and Design, where she oversees one of the oldest art schools in Los Angeles with award winning programs, internationally renowned faculty, and talented and diverse students. Prior to accepting the leadership role at the university, Lin-Kirk taught design at USC Roski for 17 years and lectured at prestigious schools throughout Southern California, including Scripps College, Claremont; Loyola Marymount University; University of California, Los Angeles; A+D Museum, Pacific Asia Museum, Otis College of Art and Design and Mount Saint Mary University. Internationally, she has lectured at Academy of Fine Arts, Poland; Kunsthochschule Halle, Germany; Shanghai Institute of Visual Arts, China; and Zuyd University of Applied Sciences, Netherlands. Her pedagogy strives for cross-discipline study and individual practices. Beyond the classroom, she is active in the design community locally and abroad.
Read by Jerry Brown
Jerry Brown was born in San Francisco on April 7, 1938. He was elected Trustee for the LA Community College District in 1969, California Secretary of State in 1970 and Governor of California in 1974 and 1978. After his governorship, Brown lectured and traveled widely, practiced law, served as chairman of the state Democratic Party and ran for president. In 1998, Brown was elected Mayor of Oakland and California Attorney General in 2006. He was elected Governor again in 2010 and 2014. Brown currently serves as chair of the California-China Climate Institute at UC Berkeley, executive chair of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists and on the board of the Nuclear Threat Initiative.
Read by Patrick Martinez
Patrick Martinez maintains a diverse practice that includes mixed media landscape paintings, neon sign pieces, cake paintings, and his Pee Chee series of appropriative works. The landscape paintings are abstractions composed of Los Angeles surface content; e.g. distressed stucco, spray paint, window security bars, vinyl signage, ceramic tile, neon sign elements, and other recognizable materials. These works serve to evoke place and socio-economic position, and further unearth sites of personal, civic and cultural loss. Patrick’s neon sign works are fabricated to mirror street level commercial signage, but are remixed to present words and phrases drawn from literary and oratorical sources. His acrylic on panel Cake paintings memorialize leaders, activists, and thinkers, and the Pee Chee series documents the threats posed to black and brown youth by law enforcement.
Read by Alexandra Grant
Alexandra Grant is a Los Angeles-based artist who through an exploration of the use of text and language in various media—painting, drawing, sculpture, film, and photography—probes ideas of translation, identity, dis/location, and social responsibility. Grant frequently collaborates with other artists, writers, and philosophers, often going so far as to have specific texts written as the impetus to her intricate paintings and sculptures.
Read by Roxane Gay
Roxane Gay’s writing appears in Best American Mystery Stories 2014, Best American Short Stories 2012, Best Sex Writing 2012, A Public Space, McSweeney’s, Tin House, Oxford American, American Short Fiction, Virginia Quarterly Review, and many others. She is a contributing opinion writer for the New York Times. She is the author of the books Ayiti, An Untamed State, the New York Times bestselling Bad Feminist, the nationally bestselling Difficult Women and the New York Times bestselling Hunger. She is also the author of World of Wakanda for Marvel. She has several books forthcoming and is also at work on television and film projects. She also has a newsletter, The Audacity and a podcast, The Roxane Gay Agenda.
Read by L. Frank
L. Frank is a Tongva - Ajachmem artist, writer, photographer, cartoonist and tribal scholar. She lives and works in Santa Rosa, California. L learned about Corita Kent through a friend who went to Immaculate Heart College and her work has been deeply impacted by her teaching philosophies ever since. L. Frank made the first stone bowl by someone in the tongva tribe in 200 years as well as the first canoes in several hundred years. L. is one of seven founding board members of the Advocates for Indigenous California Languages, organizations that are involved in the preservation and revival of Native Californian languages through traditional arts practice, language immersion, conferences and workshops.
Lettering by David Mekelburg,
Corita Kent’s Rules & Hints for Students and Teachers,
© Corita Art Center