Artist and Activist Faith Ringgold Expresses Opinion Through Art

Artist, author, educator and activist, Faith Ringgold, shares her passion for art, how she has used her art to express her beliefs and her involvement with Newark Celebration 350 initiative.

12/13/16 #1931






"You are looking at the beautiful, smiling, talented face of Miss Faith Ringgold, artist, author, arts educator, and activist. How you doing? I'm kinda fine. [laughter] Yeah? A little bit fine. I think you're fine. Yes. I'm very happy about a lot of things, but there are a few things that are not quite ripe, but that's okay. Well, we're good to have... it's great to have you here at the New... But it's great being here. Yeah, at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center. It sure is wonderful. Oh yes. Actually, one of the things we want to do right away is to show something, a very important piece of art that you're a part of. You're a part of the Newark 350 Celebration, are you not? Absolutely. Because? I did the print for it. You did the print for it? Yeah. And the print? You mean you didn't know that? I did know that. I'm trying to set you up for this. Okay? Oh. And the print, A Day In Newark's 350th Year Celebration. We're gonna actually put up the print. And talk about the print. It is a silk screen print. Right? It... yes I guess, it's a silk screen print. Yes. It is... The significance of it? what? My feelings about Newark, New Jersey. And they go way back to when I was a kid, and used to come here, because my uncle lived in New Jersey, and we used to walk over the George Washington Bridge from Harlem. Were you raised in Harlem? Yes. And we would come over here, to his house, and so I have long feelings and memories of Newark. And so when I was faced with the idea of creating a print for the celebration of 350th... I didn't know it was 350 years. That was... that's a lot. I didn't know Newark was that old. I wanted to bring into it, you know, my feelings about Newark that I could share with, you know, other people. So I really want to say thanks to all the people at NJPAC for asking me. If... let me ask you, you were coming from Harlem to Newark? Describe the Newark that you remember back in the day. It was very small, of course, with little houses... what? Two story houses? And everybody... very, very sweet, and very homey, and you know, with their little gardens, and everything. It was just a really... coming from New York City, it was very different. And very... very welcoming. We loved it. I loved coming. And I would stay with my uncle and his wife. And that was fun. So I had these really fond memories, and I just went back over them, to put together my idea for what I thought would appeal to many people..."