For our third week, we studied Faith Ringgold.
Faith Ringgold created beautiful, colorful story quilts. From the age of two, Faith Ronggold was often bedridden due to asthma. During the time that she missed from school, her mother kept her busy by sewing, reading, writing, drawing, and coloring in her books. Her mother also told her stories about her great, great grandmother who was a slave before the Civil War. One of her great, great grandmother’s tasks on the plantation was to make quilts. We guessed whether we thought Faith Ringgold used her quilts on beds or on the walls. Many voted for beds, but they were actually hung on the wall. In one quilt, Tar Beach, we studied the quilt to see why Faith called this Tar Beach. Her family lived in New York and when it was hot, they went up on the roof to cool down, look at the stars, and tell stories. Her family ate and played cards, while she told stories, where she flew, to her brother. The quilt also showed her love for bridges, which resembled the quilting technique. We studied a photograph of the Brooklyn Bridge to see how the suspension cables resembled her quilting technique. In Sonny’s Quilt, we saw Sonny Rollins, a famous jazz musician, practicing his saxophone up high on a bridge. He also practiced on rooftops and fire escapes. The quilts had many vibrant colors with repeating patterns. We practiced our own patterned quilts in our sketchbooks. We also drew some of our favorite scenes from our own childhoods.