Apr 12, 2016


In 2007, Penny Dell from the National Association of Women Artists (NAWA) asked Faith Ringgold to exhibit at NAWA’s NYC gallery.  Faith invited me to join her in this exhibition and we worked together to come up with an idea for what this new work would be. We talked it over for several weeks and came up with a concept that included children, ancestors and peace.  Faith wrote the story, “The Children Forgot to Play” for this project and that story is central to each quilt.  I drew up the design.  Faith invited her friend Linda Freeman to join us in the project. 
            The three quilts are all share the dimensions, 50 x 50 inches, each includes the story “The Children Forgot to Play,” and every quilt has the same layout design and background colors but each artist responded to “The Children Forgot to Play” with stories from their own ancestors going several generations back. The quilts include eight portraits of actual ancestors and their stories.

The Children Forgot to Play

An international Save The Children Meeting was held today in New York City. A woman from the Congo Region in Africa and a man from Scandinavia shared the stage to explain that their children had adopted a sedentary lifestyle and had forgotten how to play and that something must be done or life as we know it will cease. The crowd roared with unbridled enthusiasm. Toy stores, playgrounds, amusement parks and schools all over the world have shut down. Children have taken to their beds, like old people, complaining of headaches, backaches, muscle pains, dizziness and refused to move without a wheelchair.  A man just back from the war in the Middle East said “They need the help of our ancestors, they would have the children and all of us laughing in no time. They had love and hope. All we have is hatred violence and war.” 147 words

Ancestors Project: Quilt Design Layout

A. Central image of children at play. 36 x 36 Dark blue background

B. Story text row. Paint this 2” wide row a neutral green-grey

C. Put Portraits and ancestor’s stories in this row. The ancestors portraits will be painted on the 8 red sections, their stories will be written on the 12 white sections and do a self portrait in each corner. This row is 4” wide, the corners are blue 4x4 and the red and white sections are 4 x 8 each.

D. Use a thick piping to finish the quilt top.

Ancestor's Project

Barbara Wallace and Grace Matthews read Faith Ringgold's Ancestor's Story from Grace's quilt.


Grace recounds the happy memories of her Grandpa and Grandma Walls.

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For questions or information about hosting this exhibition call Grace Matthews at (858) 576-0397 or email GraceMatthews1@aol.com.