Blog

"The Only Rule Is Work"

From a young age, while growing up in New England, the Nugents traveled up to the "Big City" of Boston.  While there, we took in parades, museums, Red Sox games, musical theater or yet another tour of the Kennedy Library.  My father would drive the whole family or maybe just one or two of us kids.  Each time, journeying up the Southeast Expressway, what turns out to be the largest copyrighted work of art would appear: a 140 foot tall natural gas storage tank, painted in large expressive swaths of  color.  I remember well, when my father mentioned on one of those trips, that this oversized monument was painted by "a sister," which for us, was code for nun.  I couldn't comprehend it.  First of all, I was being schooled by nuns at St. Raymond's in Providence, and while they were a tough bunch, I couldn't imagine any of them scaling the side of this enormous structure with a paint roller.  Also, no nun I knew of ever shed her "habit" of head covering, low pumps, and below the knee dress or skirt.  Even my own great aunt, "Auntie Sister," for whom I believe I was accidentally mis-named, would famously wade into Narragansett Bay, only in full habit, on very hot summer days.

Sister Corita Kent was the creator of the painting, and likely, the first artist I would have been aware of.  While this work, "Rainbow Swash" was completed in 1971, after she left the order of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, it was conceived out of her long commitment to expressing the ethic of "loving thy neighbor" through art.  While she was chair of the Immaculate Heart College art department, she created a piece of art from what she wrote as the standards of the department.  When I discovered this piece (which you should definitely read--here's a link) I was drawn immediately to Rule #7: "The only rule is work."  I aspire to be obedient to her parameters, especially that one.

On another note, or maybe the same note of work,  I've been on the road this spring, participating in juried art fairs in Jackson, MS, San Antonio, TX, Oklahoma City and right here in KC.  If you are interested in knowing if I'll be coming to a town near you, please go to my contact page and send me a note.  I'll be very glad to fill you in on my schedule which to this point is set through the beginning of August.  If we aren't going to meet up in person, please follow me on Instagram and I'll try to keep it interesting.

Image used with permission and courtesy of @kbuggle. Follow her on Instagram too!