Faith Ringgold

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Faith Ringgold is a well-known African-American artist and writer. She is known for making her own kinds of art, like soft sculpture, masks, and story quilts. She was the first woman artist to make sewing, weaving, and embroidery into serious forms of art instead of just hobbies. She was a victim of racial discrimination both in her personal and professional life, so she used her talent to spread the word about her life and the harm that racial discrimination did to society as a whole. As an artist and social activist, she mostly worked to bring people of different races together, especially in the New York art world. The political and feminist issues she has shown in her work, especially in her paintings and quilts, show how she has tried to get away from the stereotypes of black culture. Faith has won nearly 75 awards, and one of them is an honorary doctor of fine arts. She has written many books for kids and is now a professor at the University of California.

An Early Years

Faith Ringgold was born Faith Willie Jones on October 8, 1930, in New York City’s Harlem Hospital. She was the youngest of the Jones family’s children.
Her father, Louis Jones, drove a truck, and her mother, Willi Posey Jones, made clothes. Her parents made just enough money to take care of the most basic needs of their three kids.

Health problems meant that faith couldn’t be a regular part of elementary school. She spent most of her childhood in hospitals or at home because she had asthma. It was during this time that she learned to love drawing.

In second grade, she became one of the best artists in her class. Her school principal also liked her work. She started studying art at City College of New York in 1950. She got her B.S. in 1955 and her M.A. in 1959.

Faith had to deal with racism because she was black and American, but her determination and persistence helped her get through it.

Faith Ringgold’s Career

Faith taught art at the New York City School, Wagner College, and the Bank Street College of Education after she graduated. She did this from 1960 to 1970.

Faith taught about jewelry, clothing, and beadwork in college, and she also spread the word about African art.
In 1961, she moved to Europe to learn more about Picasso, Matisse, and other artists after getting her master’s degree in fine arts.

As a result of the Civil Rights Movement, Faith became more interested in politics and how women were being used.
In the paintings, she made in the 1960s, like “The American People” and “The Flag is Bleeding,” her anger was clear. She also worked on a painting about a woman who had been raped in 1970.

Most of the ideas for this came from the works of writers like James Baldwin and Amiri Baraka, who wrote about the struggles of black people in America.
Her painting, “U.S. Postage Stamp Commemorating the Arrival of Black People,” was a grid of 100 faces that showed how many African-Americans there were in the whole population.

Faith was even more upset when she saw how badly the American Art Museum treated African-American artists. She realized that this was why there were no African artists in European art.
In the 1970s, Faith started making masks and heads to show the world her own suffering and the suffering of her community.

With the help of her mother, Faith began painting life-size portraits of famous people from Harlem, such as politician Adam Clayton Powell, basketball player Wilt Chamberlain, and others. She called this series “The Harlem Series.”

Faith also encouraged women to learn how to make things by making “narrative quilts,” which showed a series of pictures and words that told stories about them. African slaves in America taught people how to weave, which led to the making of these quilts.

Aside from keeping people warm, they were first used to keep track of memories and then as message boards.
Her first quilt, “Echoes of Harlem,” was made in 1980. Today, she has made 30 quilts, all of which are written as children’s stories, with each part of the quilt being a page.

“Who’s Afraid of Aunt Jemima?” and “Street Story” are two of Faith’s most well-known quilts. They show the life of an African woman who became a successful businesswoman. In addition to making these quilts, she also worked on putting on live shows.

Even though Faith lived in New York, her work was never like modern American art. This was mostly because she only painted about black culture and racism.

She is known not only for her art but also for her work to help people. Through the Ad Hoc Women’s Art Committee, she fought for the rights of African artists at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York (founded by artist Poppy Johnson and art critic, Lucy Lippard).
She is an art professor at the University of California at San Diego right now.

Awards & Achievements

Faith and some of her friends were able to start groups like Women Students and Artists for Black Art Liberation (WSABAL) in 1970, the National Black Feminist Organization in 1974, and “Where We At” Black Women Artists in 1996. (a women’s art collective in New York)

Her involvement in various protests helped her display her work too. In 1967 and 1970, she was the first black woman to have solo shows at The Spectrum Gallery in New York.

In 1973, Rutgers University, the Studio Museum in Harlem, and the College of Wooster Art Museum gave her a 10-year retrospective show. In 1985, the Studio Museum in Harlem and the College of Wooster Art Museum gave her a 20-year retrospective show.

Faith was given awards like the Simon Guggenheim Foundation Award in 1987 and the Honorary Doctorate Award from the Moore College of Fine Art (1986).
Her work has been shown in museums all over the world, like the Guggenheim Museum, the Museum of Modern Art, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

In 1991 and 1992, the Crown Press put out her books Tar Beach and Aunt Harriet’s Underground Railroad in the Sky. Faith’s childhood in Harlem is the basis for her book Tar Beach, which was a Caldecott Honor Book and won her the Coretta Scott King Award.

Faith Ringgold has been said to have influenced a number of artists, such as Linda Freeman, Romare Bearden, and Betye Saar.

Personal History and Legacies

Faith had asthma as a child, so she spent a lot of time with her mother, who taught her how to do different kinds of art. This is how she came to love art.

After her mother died in 1981, she took up quilting as a way to honor her. Her great-grandmother, Susie Shannon, taught her family how to weave, and Faith has kept that tradition going to this day.

She got married to jazz pianist Robert Earl Wallace in 1950. The couple got a divorce in 1956, though. She had two children from this marriage: Barbara and Michele.

On May 19, 1962, Faith married Burdette Ringgold again.

Estimated Net worth

Faith is one of the most wealthy illustrators and is on the list of the most popular illustrators. Faith Ringgold’s net worth is about $2 million, according to our research, Wikipedia, Forbes, and Business Insider.