About Artist: Faith Ringgold (born October 8, 1930, in Harlem, New York City) is an African-American artist, best known for her painted story quilts.Her birth name was Faith Willi Jones and she was raised in Harlem and educated at the City College of New York, where she studied with Robert Gwathmey and Yasuo Kuniyoshi. After receiving a Bachelor's Degree, she taught in the public school system in New York. She received an M.A. from the college in 1959. In 1970, Ringgold began teaching college level courses. She is the professor emeritus in the University of California, San Diego visual art department. She was greatly influenced by the fabric she worked with at home with her mother, Willi Posey, who was a fashion designer, and Ringgold has used fabric in many of her artworks. She is especially well known for her painted story quilts, which blur the line between "high art" and "craft" by combining painting, quilted fabric, and storytelling.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.The 1970s mark her move into the sculptural figures that depicted fictional slave stories as well as contemporary ones. Ringgold began quilted artworks in 1980; her first quilt being "Echoes of Harlem."She quilted her stories in order to be heard, since at the time no one would publish her autobiography."Who's Afraid of Aunt Jemima?" (1983) is a quilt showing the story of Aunt Jemima as a matriarch restaurateur. 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.
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