A painter, mixed media sculptor, performance artist, writer, teacher, and lecturer, Faith Ringgold has worked across a wide range of media but is best known for her story quilts. She created the first of these in 1980 in collaboration with her mother, Madame Willi Posey, and began incorporating text into them in 1983.
In one of her more popular story quilts, Picasso’s Studio, Ringgold presents a narrative that challenges the originality of Picasso’s cubist masterpiece Les Demoiselles d’Avignon.
Ringgold’s work is greatly influenced by African art, and when she traveled to Nigeria and Ghana she was able to see firsthand their artistic tradition of masks that continue to inspire her.
Ringgold’s first children’s book, Tar Beach, won multiple awards including the Coretta Scott King Award and was a Caldecott Honor Book in 1992. Her many children’s books intertwine elements of fantasy throughout the stories and address racism in a way that is approachable for children. She is professor emeritus at the University of California, San Diego and has received numerous awards including 22 honorary doctorates.