As part of their original short film series “FAMSF Presents”, the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco are delighted to share their latest short documentary “Faith Ringgold: American Story.”

Produced on the occasion of the exhibition Faith Ringgold: American People (de Young museum, through November 27, 2022), and directed by LeRon Lee, this film tells the story of Black artist and activist Faith Ringgold, who has dedicated her life and artistic practice to amplify the struggle for justice and equity of black people in the United States and particularly of black women. Filmed in New York, New Jersey and San Francisco, this documentary features first person accounts by Faith Ringgold herself, friend and scholar Lisa Farrington, PhD and friend and gallery owner Dorian Bergen.

“I was first introduced to Ringgold's work as an art major at Newark, New Jersey's Arts High School, the first art school in the United States," director LeRon Lee notes. "As a youth, I found her use of mediums to be vividly unique and timeless. Her art was a part of one of the first exhibits that I remember visiting as an art student. I was taken by the detail across her story quilts. especially from her piece, Church Picnic. This inspired me to emulate her work by creating a thangka and mandala of my own; which was featured in the Newark Museum and still hangs in my mother's dining room till this day. She is not only a woman that I've studied, I genuinely admired her work. As a storyteller today, this film is a full circle moment and I am absolutely honored to tell this story. This experience left me deeply inspired as I gained an advanced understanding of her art from her history, process, and approach. It was important to address this piece recollecting Faith's life experience and her personality which are all pooled into her work. At this point in her career, I was enthusiastic to highlight her as a trailblazer and honor her legacy.”

Read our interview with curator Janna Keegan on Faith Ringgold.