Faith Ringgold is a painter, mixed media sculptor, teacher, humanist, lecturer and author of numerous award winning children’s books. Born in Harlem, New York, she became aware of racial and gender prejudices at an early age. She suffered from asthma as a child and was unable to attend school regularly. Nevertheless she honed her artistic and intellectual skills. Blessed with a boundless imagination and a loving family, She has achieved what she set out to do. She embodies her mother’s early admonishment, “You will have to work twice as hard to go half as far”.
Her evolving artistry has taken many forms including social realism, performance art, soft sculpture and children’s books to her famous Story Quilts. Several themes underlie her work. One is the desire to raise awareness of the cultural heroes and beauty within African American culture. Two, is the myth of a white male dominant society. And three, the issues confronting all women. She is the recipient of more than 75 awards and honors including the Simon Guggenheim Award for Painting and two National Endowment for the Arts Awards in sculpture and painting. Most recently she received the Visionary Woman Award from Moore College (2004), The American Academy of Arts and Letters Award (2004), and the Visionary Project Honoree, Washington, DC (2004). She has been presented with seventeen Honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degrees.
Her work is in the permanent collections of numerous museums in the United States and abroad including The Art Institute of Chicago, IL; The Baltimore Museum of Art, MD; The Boston Museum of Fine Art, MA; The High Museum, Atlanta, GA; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY; The Museum of Modern Art, NY; The National Museum of American Art, Washington, DC; The Philadelphia Museum of Art, PA; The Studio Museum in Harlem, NY and The Victoria and Albert Museum, London, England.
Tar Beach, her first children’s book, won The Caldecott Award and was made into an animated short for HBO. The original storyquilt is in the collection of The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, NY. Two additional stories were made into animated shorts and appear regularly on Nickelodeon.
Her artwork is featured on the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Timeline of Art History, a chronological, geographical and thematic exploration of the most important art from around the world.
There are currently several solo exhibitions of her work touring the United States.
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