Elizabeth Kanost
Spencer Museum of Art

Artist Faith Ringgold to open National African American Quilt Convention with keynote at Spencer Museum

Mon, 07/02/2018

LAWRENCE — Renowned artist Faith Ringgold will give the keynote lecture for the National African American Quilt Convention (NAAQC) at the Spencer Museum of Art at 6 p.m. July 11. Ringgold will discuss her life in art and activism in dialogue with University of Kansas Distinguished Professor Maryemma Graham at the event, which is free and open to the public.

“We are thrilled to welcome Faith Ringgold back to Lawrence,” said Marla Jackson, organizer of the NAACQ. “Ringgold wanted to return here because she loved the community and she was impressed with the high level of presentation of the story quilts at the Spencer Museum last summer.”

This is the second year for the NAAQC, which celebrates African-American history, quilting traditions and contemporary artistic practices. Registration is required for NAAQC sessions held July 11-14 in Lawrence and Topeka.

The Spencer Museum’s current exhibition “Paying Homage: Celebrating the Diversity of Men in Quilts” is organized in conjunction with the NAAQC. The exhibition focuses on contemporary quilts made by men with a theme of paying homage to ancestors or influential individuals. One of those individuals is Ringgold, whose groundbreaking “Flag Story Quilt” is included in the exhibition.

“It’s a great privilege to honor the work and influence of Faith Ringgold through our exhibition,” said Curator Susan Earle. “The men whose quilts are being shown pay homage to Ringgold’s art, as well as the work of other powerful African-Americans, including Jimi Hendrix, Nelson Mandela and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. We are delighted to have collaborated with Marla Jackson on the exhibition and Ringgold’s visit.”

The Spencer Museum will also host a gallery talk with artists William Daniels and Luke Haynes, who are featured in the exhibition, at 3 p.m. July 13. “Paying Homage” remains on view through Aug. 26.


Wednesday, July 11

An Evening with Faith Ringgold / 6-7:30 p.m. / Spencer Museum of Art

Renowned artist and activist Faith Ringgold kicks off the second annual National African American Quilt Convention.

Friday, July 13

Artist Talk with William Daniels and Luke Haynes / 3-4 p.m. / Spencer Museum of Art

Visiting artists William Daniels (New York) and Luke Haynes (St. Louis) discuss their practices and quilts on view in the exhibition “Paying Homage: Celebrating the Diversity of Men in Quilts.” Both artists are also teaching workshops at the National African American Quilt Convention.

Wednesday, July 18

Up Close: Paying Homage / 5:30–6:30 p.m. / Spencer Museum of Art

Experience the exhibition “Paying Homage: Celebrating the Diversity of Men in Quilts” through the eyes of Curator Susan Earle while exploring the ancestry of contemporary story quilts. 

Image: Artist Faith Ringgold stands beside her “Flag Story Quilt” (1985) on view last summer at the Spencer Museum of Art. Image by Ryan Waggoner, Spencer Museum of Art.

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