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featured maker: faith ringgold | all ages

Get to know the work of Black artist Faith Ringgold, then create your own art piece inspired by her famous story quilts. What story or message will you share in this unique art form?


Faith Ringgold is an artist, activist, and author who uses her work to address issues of racial and gender inequality. Throughout her career, Ringgold has created paintings, sculptures, masks, children’s books, and has even invented a new type of art: the story quilt.

Ringgold’s story quilts are a way for her to combine different art making traditions and celebrate her African American roots, while sharing her own stories and ideas through art and words. To create story quilts, Ringgold uses paint, fabric, and writing, incorporating her stories directly onto her quilt.

Younger makers might enjoy this video of Ringgold reading her Caldecott-Winning picture book, Tar Beach, which is based on one of her most famous story quilts and tells the story of a young girl who dreams of flying over New York City.

 Watch this video to learn more about Faith Ringgold and her work.

Credit: Anthony Barboza / Getty Images


In her story quilts, Faith Ringgold uses fabric, paint, and words all together to tell stories that celebrate the lives of African American people. She believes it is important to make art that reflects your own experience. What do you want to share with the world through your art, based on your own experiences?

Design and make your own story quilt inspired by the work of Faith Ringgold.

What is a story, message, or memory that is important to you?

How will you use both art and words together to share your story?

For inspiration, check out some of Faith Ringgolds’ story quilts:

Who’s Afraid of Aunt Jemima?, 1983

Sunflower Quilting Bee at Arles, 1991

Tar Beach #2, 1990

Coming to Jones Road Tanka #3: Martin Luther King, 2010


When you know what story you want to tell, it’s time to get making!

Gather your materials. You can use fabric from old clothing or sheets, or recycled paper with different colors and prints. Try looking through magazines to find colors, patterns, and designs that you like. You’ll also need a pen or marker — if you’re using fabric, look for a fabric marker or permanent marker that can write on that material.

Create your scene. How will you make the pictures for your story? Like Faith Ringgold, you might want to paint or use markers directly on the fabric. Or, you could try making a collage or mosaic from fabric, paper scraps, and glue.

Write your story. Use a marker or pen to write your story on fabric or paper. Decide where to place your words on the quilt. Look at Faith Ringgold’s art for inspiration.

Create your border. Faith Ringgold uses pieces of beautifully patterned fabric to create quilt-like borders for her paintings. She adds her own designs to the fabrics using paint.

When you’ve created your project, email a photo, video, or file to Include the first name and age of the maker along with a description of your project, and it could be featured on our website and social media!

Faith Ringgold reads her 1991 children’s book Tar Beach.