Faith Ringgold is an African American artist from the culturally rich urban neighborhood of Harlem in New York City. Ringgold spent much of her adolescence quite ill, and found herself sewing while she spent her days in bed. She holds fond memories of her family telling her stories, and her special relationship with them became a heavy influence in her art alongside her big idea of identity. A hybrid culture of African and European influence the imagery of her work, as she identifies herself as a person coming from both backgrounds. Quilts became Ringgold's medium of choice, as she learned they were easy to transport to galleries she wished to be shown in- many of which she walked straight into as she disregarded that to women (especially non-white women) had previously been shown there. Ringgold says to be inspired by people who rise above their adversity, and she herself was told by her art professor that she could never be an artist- which only fueled her fire more and motivated her.
In the classroom:
While creating visual narratives, referring to Faith Ringgold and her work would provide students with ample opportunity to critically analyze stories in a visual manner. Ringgold's use of symbols, color, pattern, and placement of imagery effectively create rich visual narratives and by exposing students to these elements in such a manner, it will strengthen their understanding and development of their own visual narratives.