Faith Ringgold:American People at the de Young Museum

The Screaming Woman, Atlanta Children – Faith Ringgold (1981)

I went to the de Young Museum and immersed myself in nearly 50 years of Faith Ringgold’s art. I was inspired by the breadth and depth of Ms. Ringgold’s art and the way that the exhibit shows how her art changed in focus, style, and medium over time and how the artist’s focus changed over time as well. In many ways, Ms. Ringgold’s foundation as a black woman born in 1930 who was raised and is living in America as an artist, teacher, conscious, aware individual was present throughout the work displayed in the exhibition. What did change, and I’m not sure that the best way to describe what I’m trying to say with the word “change” is evident in her artwork, which ranges temporally over 50 years.

It was a joy to not only view, but have a lived understanding of the issues that Ms. Ringgold’s work addresses from protesting to bring attention to the gender inequality of museums’ presenting artists’ work, standards of beauty applied to women and black women in particular, body image, missing and murdered children in Atlanta, the incarceration of Angela Davis, her book Tar Beach, in which her story quilts along with text present the story in a children’s book, and so much more. She is an icon and I’m so glad that the de Young and the greater Bay Area arts community is honoring her with this long overdue exhibition.

If you are in the Bay Area before the exhibition closes on November 27, 2022 you must really go. And, by the way, general admission to the museum is free to residents of the nine Bay Area counties on Saturdays. Also, be sure to check the website for information about special events related to this exhibition and for tickets. Even with the free admission, you need to reserve a ticket. It’s best to do so ahead of time online.

Faith Ringgold: American People:

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