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Faith Ringgold

Civil Rights Activist, Women's Right Activist, Author, Educator & Painter

Civil Rights Activist, Women's Right Activist, Author, Educator & Painter

Travels From Travels From:
Englewood, NJ, USA
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Faith Ringgold Biography

Faith Ringgold, a renowned painter, mixed media sculptor, performance artist, author, and intersectional activist, is well-known for her narrative quilts. She is also a proficient teacher and lecturer, having taught in New York City Public Schools, at the college level, and as a Professor Emeritus of Art at the University of California in San Diego. She has received 23 Honorary Doctorates and over 80 awards and honors, including the 2009 Peace Corps Award.

Ringgold initiated her painting career in the 1950s, focusing on the underlying racism in everyday activities. Her travels in Europe during the early 1960s greatly influenced her. She created the famous "American People Series" from 1963 to 1967, which portrays the American lifestyle in relation to the Civil Rights Movement. Her first and second one-person exhibitions at the Spectrum Gallery in New York showcased this series. The series poses significant questions regarding racial issues in American society. A notable work from this series, "The American People Series #18: The Flag is Bleeding," has been widely acclaimed. Another one of her significant works, "Tar Beach," was included in her first children's book, which won the Ezra Jack Keats New Writer Award and the Coretta Scott King Award for Illustration.

Influenced by her visit to the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, Ringgold transitioned from painting to fabric to disconnect from the association of painting with Western/European traditions. In the early 1970s, she began making tankas, soft sculptures, and masks inspired by a Tibetan art form of paintings framed in richly brocaded fabrics. This medium was later utilized in her masked performances of the 1970s and 80s. Despite her art being initially inspired by African art in the 1960s, it wasn't until she traveled to Nigeria and Ghana in the late 1970s that she experienced the rich tradition of masks that has remained her most significant influence. She also began experimenting with sculpture in 1973, creating a range of sculptures, including costumed masks and hanging and freestanding soft sculptures.

Ringgold made her first quilt, Echoes of Harlem, in 1980, in collaboration with her mother, Madame Willi Posey, and her grandmother, who taught her the art of quilting in an African-American style. These quilts were an extension of her tankas from the 1970s. However, these paintings were not only bordered with fabric but quilted, creating for her a unique way of painting using the quilt medium. She later created the piece "Black Light Series #10: Flag for the Moon: Die Nigger," which was shown in her solo exhibition at ACA Galleries in New York. Her artwork reflects her experiences growing up during the Harlem Renaissance and themes from the Civil Rights Movement and Women's Movement.

Ringgold's first story quilt: Who's Afraid of Aunt Jemima?" was written in 1983 to publish her unedited words, and it marked the addition of text to her quilts, developing into a unique medium and style all her own. Crown Publishers published Ringgold's first book, the award-winning "Tar Beach," in 1991. It has won over 20 awards, including the Caldecott Honor and the Coretta Scott King Award for the best-illustrated children's book of 1991. An animated version with Natalie Cole as the voice-over was created by HBO in 2010. The book is based on the story quilt of the same title from The Woman on a Bridge Series, 1988. The original painted story quilt, "Tar Beach," is in the permanent collection of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York City. To date, she has illustrated 17 children’s books.

Ringgold has been an activist since the 1970s, participating in several feminist and anti-racist organizations. A notable advocate for African American artists and representation in the art world, she co-founded the Ad Hoc Women's Art Committee and protested a major modernist art exhibition at the Whitney Museum of American Art. She also co-founded Women Students and Artists for Black Art Liberation (WSABAL) and the National Black Feminist Organization, and was a founding member of the "Where We At" Black Women Artists, a New York-based women's art collective associated with the Black Arts Movement. Furthermore, she co-founded the Coast-to-Coast National Women Artists of Color Projects in 1988.

Ringgold completed her B.S. and M.A. degrees in visual art from the City College of New York in 1955 and 1959.

Faith Ringgold Videos

  • Faith Ringgold's American story
    Produced on the occasion of the exhibition “Faith Ringgold: American People” at the de Young museum, and directed by LeRon Lee, this film tells...
  • Artist Faith Ringgold’s life’s work celebrated in New York exhibit
    A major retrospective at the New Museum in New York looks at the remarkable life and work of artist Faith Ringgold, 91, who has fought for change in...
  • An Evening with Artist Faith Ringgold
    Renowned painter, quilt-maker, and author Faith Ringgold discusses her life in art and the continued relevance of artistic activism in dialogue with...

Faith Ringgold Books

  • We Came To America
    We Came To America
  • Tar Beach
    Tar Beach

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FAQs on booking Faith Ringgold

  • How do I book Faith Ringgold to speak at my event?

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  • What are the speaker fees for Faith Ringgold

    Speaking fees for Faith Ringgold, or any other speakers and celebrities, are determined based on a number of factors and may change without notice. The estimated fees to book Faith Ringgold are for live events and for virtual events. For the most current speaking fee to hire Faith Ringgold, click the Check Availability button above and complete the form on this page, or call our office at 1.800.698.2536 to speak directly with an experienced booking agent.
  • What topics does Faith Ringgold speak about?

    Faith Ringgold is a keynote speaker and industry expert whose speaking topics include Art, Arts & Humanities, Authors, Creativity Speakers, Culture, Diversity Speakers, Motivation, Personal Growth, Visual Arts.
  • Where does Faith Ringgold travel from?

    Faith Ringgold generally travels from Englewood, NJ, USA, but can be booked for private corporate events, personal appearances, keynote speeches, or other performances. For more details, please contact an AAE Booking agent.
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    AAE Speakers Bureau has successfully booked keynote speakers like Faith Ringgold for clients worldwide since 2002. As a full-service speaker booking agency, we have access to virtually any speaker or celebrity in the world. Our agents are happy and able to submit an offer to the speaker or celebrity of your choice, letting you benefit from our reputation and long-standing relationships in the industry. Please click the Check Availability button above and complete the form on this page including the details of your event, or call our office at 1.800.698.2536, and one of our agents will assist you to book Faith Ringgold for your next private or corporate function.
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    AAE Speakers Bureau is a full-service speaker booking agency, meaning we can completely manage the speaker’s or celebrity’s engagement with your organization from the time of booking your speaker through the event’s completion. We provide all of the services you need to host Faith Ringgold or any other speaker of your choice, including offer negotiation, contractual assistance, accounting and billing, and event speaker travel and logistics services. When you book a speaker with us, we manage the process of hosting a speaker for you as an extension of your team. Our goal is to give our clients peace of mind and a best-in-class service experience when booking a speaker with us.
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Faith Ringgold is a keynote speaker and industry expert who speaks on a wide range of topics . The estimated speaking fee range to book Faith Ringgold for your event is $5,000 - $10,000. Faith Ringgold generally travels from Englewood, NJ, USA and can be booked for (private) corporate events, personal appearances, keynote speeches, or other performances. Similar motivational celebrity speakers are Erin Gruwell, Nikki Giovanni, Temple Grandin, Angela Davis and Duncan Tonatiuh. Contact All American Speakers for ratings, reviews, videos and information on scheduling Faith Ringgold for an upcoming live or virtual event.

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