Shani's Blog

Celebrating Faith Ringgold

Oct
13

Dear family,

I’m so happy to be able to share some super exciting news… I have a piece of my art work included in an exhibit celebrating of one of our living legends, Faith Ringgold! Ms. Ringgold is an accomplished artist and author whose work has been displayed on six continents and whose 75+ awards include 22 honorary doctorates. You can see why she was recently selected as the inaugural recipient of the City College of New York’s Cultural Arts Award! Part of her tribute included a commemorative exhibit featuring some of the top quilting artists from around the country, curated by Dr. Myrah Brown Green.

My quilt is titled “Ring Shout.” It takes its name from the holy African American tradition of forming a circle of praise, a ritual our ancestors created that carries through to today. Also, as a child of the hip-hop generation, this quilt is my dedication, my “shout out” to Ms. Ringgold—an artist who has inspired me deeply.

It’s important to me to draw the connections from the past to the present in my work as a fabric artist, especially given the role quilting has played in the lives of African American women. My Grandma was a quilter. It is a special thing to be able to take scraps and cast offs and create a thing of beauty. It’s representative to me of what we as a people have always been able to do.

The vivid colors were chosen to reflect the abundance of life and spirit that has allowed our community to survive conditions we were never meant to come through. The appliqué is done entirely by hand. I stitched a raw edge finish in a ring of gold in homage to the incredible artist we are all honoring in this exhibit.

See below for pics from our opening reception in the Aaron Davis Hall gallery– the address is West 135th Street at Convent Avenue in Harlem. If you’d like to see the exhibit in person, it will stay open until December 1st. Also, I’ll have a second piece shown at the Dwyer Cultural Center during an evening reception at the end of the month.

It’s a new day! I’m so honored to be in the company of such amazing visual artists and I’m deeply thankful to have your support as I walk this path.

Opening Reception

Ring Shout

Ring Shout close up

The Exhibit

Faith Ringgold + Shani Jamila

2 Responses to “Celebrating Faith Ringgold”

  1. friend says:

    It looks like you remember Martinique. Tropiques. Do you remember Suzanne Cesaire?

  2. KGD says:

    And the ring shout is somewhat like the foremother of the cipher, right? Great homage and congrats on getting to walk with a giant. Skills.

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