This blog is composed of images and writings related to the life and work of Faith Ringgold, her mother Mme. Willi Posey, and her daughters Michele and Barbara Wallace. There are pages with links to blogs composed of the materials arranged by decades. The blog, itself, will ultimately be composed of materials related to the life of the family in the 90s and the 21st century.


Critical Essays: Anyone Can Fly Foundation

If you would like to see an article I wrote on the mission of the Anyone Can Fly Foundation started by Faith Ringgold in order to perpetuate the knowledge and legacy of African American visual artists, it can be found with some difficulty by the following route. 

Click on the link that follows, whereupon you will gain access to a pdf of the entire book "The Visual Artist's Guide to Estate Planning: The 2008 Supplement Update" edited by Faith's lawyer Barbara Hoffman, which is full of fascinating information about artists' foundations generally.  Black artists generally don't have foundations, at least part of the point in Faith's determination to have one.  Her view is that having a foundation (or some form of non-profit organization) is essential to the preservation of the artist's work beyond his or her lifetime.  

Within this manuscript pdf, the 7th chapter is composed of an essay written by myself (Michele Wallace) about Faith's Foundation, which is now in its 12th year of operation. 

Many of the programs have changed since then and it is time for a new essay on this topic, although it is difficult to figure out what can really be shared. 

The Foundation has turned out to be such a personal and intimate thing, particularly since all of the work is done on a volunteer basis and operations are minimally funded directly by Faith Ringgold out of a bank account she maintains for that purpose.

The highlight of the foundation year is its annual garden party in Faith's garden at her home on Jones Road in Englewood, New Jersey, in which Faith welcomes paying guests for the benefit of the continuation of the work of the foundation. 

A relatively new feature of the foundation is the awarding of a Lifetime Achievement Award.  Previous winners have been David Driskell, Questa Benberry, Elizabeth Catlett, Samella Lewis, Margaret Burroughs, Aminah Robinson and Sam Gilliam.  The idea of the award, itself, was inspired by print making master Bob Blackburn who died before its conception.

This year the awardee is Camille Billops, artist, print maker, ceramicist, filmmaker and archivist. 

Her work as an archivist and a guardian angel (along with her husband) of African American artists in a wide array of fields is of interest in regard to the granting of this award as Faith has recently expressed her desire that the ACFF Lifetime Achievement Award should go to artists who have done their own work but also made a contribution to the lives of other artists.

A detailed description of Camille  and her (Jim Hatch) husband's Hatch-Billops Collection can be found online at Emory University Libraries (the institution which will ultimately provide a permanent home for the collection):

By Michele Wallace"
in The Visual Artist's Guide to Estate Planning: The 2008 Supplement Update sponsored by  T. the Marie Walsh Sharpe Art Foundation and the Judith Rothchild Foundation edited by Barbara T. Hoffman.


Photo-Essay: Change: The 80s

The first half of the 80s:  when the challenge to change, particularly her weight begins--myriad performances and costumes: Faith and Burdette attending Barbara's graduation (abd in Theoretical Linquistics at the CUNY Graduate Center in 1981; Faith with her new granddaughter Faith Wallace Gadsden (now 30 years old, a Ph.D. candidate in Micro-Biology at the Tufts School of Medicine in Boston and a Board Member of her grandmother's Anyone Can Fly Foundation); a sculpture from the Women on a Pedestal Series.

After the weight begins to comes off in 1986

The two Faiths and Burdette on the Roof at 345 West 14th Street in 1986. Photographer C. Love

Honorary Doctorate Robes by Photographer C. Love. San Diego, California.

Photo-Essay: Change: The 1960s

Faith in various photos of her body throughout the 1960s as she continues to gain weight while married to Burdette.

Photo-Essay: Change Sets 30s

These images composes the first set showing Faith as a child from 1930 through 1939.  These photos are mostly by D'Laigle, Sr.  The images in bathing costumes were all taken in Atlantic City where they spent all of their summers.  Almost all of the pictures show Faith, who was the youngest with her older sister Barbara and brother Andrew. This was a preparatory composition slightly different from the way they were used in the final Change: 100 Pound Weight Loss Quilt.

Friends of Soul Pictures

Michele Wallace

Post Archive

Michele Wallace: Talking in Pictures

Michele Wallace: Talking in Pictures
Barbara, MJ, Michele and Mom in the background in sunglasses at a fashion show in the early 60s