Faith Ringgold is an African-American artist, best known for her painted story quilts. She is an painter, writer, speaker, mixed media sculptor and performance artist.
During the 1960s, Ringgold painted flat, figural compositions that focused on the racial conflicts; depicting everything from riots to cocktail parties, which resulted in her “American People” series, showing the female view of the Civil Rights Movement.
Ringgold began quilted artworks in 1980. She quilted her stories in order to be heard, since at the time no one would publish her autobiography. Ringgold modeled her “story quilts” on the Buddhist Thangkas, lovely pictures painted on fabric and quilted or brocaded, which could then be easily rolled up and transported. She has influenced numerous modern artists, including Linda Freeman, and known some of the greatest African-American artists personally, including Romare Bearden, Jacob Lawrence, and Betye Saar.
Ringgold’s work is in the permanent collection of many museums including the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, and other museums, mostly in New York City.
In addition, she has written and illustrated seventeen children’s books.
Ringgold has been an activist since the 1970s, participating in several feminist, anti-racist organizations. Ringgold and an art critic Lippard also worked together during their participation in the group Women Artists in Revolution (WAR). That same year, Ringgold and her daughter, the writer Michele Wallace, founded Women Students and Artists for Black Art Liberation (WSABAL). Around 1974, She is a founding member of the National Black Feminist Organization. She was also a founding member of the “Where We At” Black Women Artists, a New York-based women art collective associated with the Black Arts Movement.