Dean of the Hixson-Lied College
of Fine & Performing Arts
Letter from the Dean
There Should be New Rules Next Week
In this year’s remarks to all of you, I would like to quote Sister Corita Kent (1918–1986) an artist, activist and one of our world’s great teachers of art. At the Immaculate Heart College in Los Angeles and later in Boston, she taught creativity and art to a generation of established and emerging artists throughout the 60s and 70s. She created some of the great graphics and iconic images of the civil rights and Vietnam War era. Her social activism and protest art ran her afoul of church leadership eventually, but recently she has been getting the recognition she deserves with exhibitions at major museums around the country. She is the co-author of the book Learning by Heart: Teachings to Free the Creative Spirit from which these quotes were taken.
These are the words that Sister Mary Corita gave to art students entering Immaculate Heart College. Let them guide us this year.
Immaculate Heart College Art Department Rules
Rule 1 Find a place you trust and then try trusting it for a while.
Rule 2 General Duties of a Student: pull everything out of your teacher. Pull everything out of your fellow students.
Rule 3 General Duties of a Teacher: pull everything out of your students.
Rule 4 Consider everything an experiment.
Rule 5 Be self-disciplined. This means finding someone wise or smart and choosing to follow him/her. To be disciplined is to follow in a good way. To be self-disciplined is to follow in a better way.
Rule 6 Nothing is a mistake. There’s no win and no fail. There is only make.
Rule 7 The only rule is Work. If you work, it will lead to something. It’s the people who do all the work all the time who eventually catch on to things.
Rule 8 Don’t try to create and analyze at the same time. They’re different processes.
Rule 9 Be happy whenever you can manage it. Enjoy yourself. It’s lighter than you think.
Rule 10 “We’re breaking all the rules. Even our own rules and how do we do that? By leaving plenty of room for X quantities.” John Cage
Helpful hints: Always be around. Come and go to everything. Always go to classes. Read anything you can get your hands on. Look at movies carefully, often. Save everything—it might come in handy later.
There will be new rules next week.
So to all of you in the Hixson-Lied College of Fine and Performing Arts this year, go out there and solve for X. The answer will be different for each of us.