MEMBER HIGHLIGHT


FAITH RINGGOLD

 

She is perhaps best known for her story quilts.  They blur the line between traditional craft and fine art, while depicting family and collective cultural experience. She published her first children's book based on her quilt Tar Beach in 1991, which received numerous awards and has been followed by many other publications.

 

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Faith Ringgold is a painter, writer, speaker, mixed media sculptor and performance artist. From 1955 to 1973 Ringgold taught in New York City public schools and spent many summers in Provincetown, MA, painting. Her early paintings addressed civil rights and other political issues.

 

 

"Creativity helps us realize that we don't have to understand everything. We can enjoy something -feel it and use it- without ever fully comprehending it."

Faith Ringgold

 

 

Faith Ringgold has received 21 honorary degress, and established the Anyone Can Fly Foundation. This non-profit organization was created to promote artists working in the tradition of the African Diaspora, with the object of introducing these traditions to children as well as adults.

 
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Faith Ringgold is best known for her bold, graphic paintings that are bordered by sewn fabric and presented as quilts, rather than conventionally stretched over a wooden frame. Her colorful work preserves the historical African-American tradition of quilt-making while also drawing attention to the modern obstacles that black women face in the art and museum spheres. Ringgold comes from a long line of women handy with a needle and thread - her mother was a fashion designer in Harlem, while her great-great-great grandmother was a slave whose homemade, hand-sewn quilts provided both warmth and an outlet for storytelling and spirituality. Ringgold’s paintings typically focus on the black experience, especially those of black artists who create in a world conditioned to the Western work of the Old Masters. Her painted quilt The Sunflower Quilting Bee at Arles (1991) for example, shows a group of African-American women presenting their own finished quilt covered in sunflowers. Behind them is the French village of Arles, and peering over their shoulders is Van Gogh himself, clutching a bouquet as he observes their work with a narrow-eyed, suspicious gaze. Her work gives traditional folk art - a medium typically considered to be a craft rather than an art - a new pedestal from which to view the modern world. Ringgold’s work is held in many international institutions, including most prominently the Guggenheim Museum, the Museum of Modern Art, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

All artworks by Faith Ringgold © 2018 Faith Ringgold, member Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York