Faith Ringgold: Paints Crown Heights

Faith Ringgold: Paints Crown Heights

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  • 28 minutes


Created and Produced by Linda Freeman
Written and Directed by David Irving

An inspirational look by Faith Ringgold, an African-American Artist, at twelve cultures that have settled in Crown Heights. Through folktales and painting this documentary shows how these diverse cultures have contributed to the American spirit.

“Culture is forever,” declares Robert Farris Thompson, (Professor of History of Art and African-American Art, Yale University) as he provides insightful commentary throughout the documentary. Both the creative and technical aspects of making the Crown Heights painted quilt are thoroughly presented by the artist as it is being made. Ringgold describes in detail her process of preparing and quilting the canvas, using an under-painting, establishing a color palette, and adding glazes of color. “The message of this quilt is that we are all chosen,” concludes Robert Farris Thompson.

On being a visual artist, Ringgold speaks to the budding artist, “It’s creative, it's imaginative, and it's hard work. Painting is hard work.” Ringgold also comments on the cultural heritage addressed in this piece. She emphasizes that the differences in people are wonderful. “Everyone’s culture works for them. If it works for them, some part of it may work for you,” says Ringgold.

Faith Ringgold at work in her studio.
Partial view of the quilted painting.
Each of the 12 immigrant cultures are depicted through the retelling of their own folk tales.
Historic images help document the settling of Crown Heights, Brooklyn.
Faith Ringgold talks about being an artist.
Scholar, Robert Farris Thompson.
Ringgold is shown working on the piece over several sessions.
Ringgold painting the Crown Heights painted quilt.
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