CMA Stories

3D Cardboard Sculptures Inspired by Faith Ringgold

Faith Ringgold is a contributor to CMA’s 2021 Art Auction and an amazing artist with a rich legacy of global impact that has sparked the imaginations of children throughout art and storytelling. Ringgold empowers children and their families to better understand and address the complexities of racism, representation, and identity with dignity, hope, and celebration. With Ringgold’s artwork The Sunflower Quilting Bee at Arles (below) as inspiration, create a 3D cardboard sculpture that exemplifies the amazing things we can accomplish when we work together. 

In this silkscreen print, eight historically significant black women display a colorful quilt that is a communal symbol of their achievements. From upper left, they are: Madam Walker, Sojourner Truth, Ida Wells, Fannie Lou Hammer, Harriet Tubman, Rosa Parks, Mary McLeod Bethune, and Ella Baker. A ninth figure, on the lower left, is Willia Marie Simone, a fictional character created by the artist. Vincent van Gogh, known for his paintings of sunflowers, stands to the right. 


  • Cardboard
  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • Coloring Utensils (colored pencils, crayons, markers, paint)


When looking at art, first take the whole picture, then look closely for details.

What do you notice about this piece of art?

How does it make you feel to see so many flowers filling the frame? 

Do you recognize any of the women in the picture, such as Harriet Tubman or Rosa Parks? 

Why do you think Ringgold chose to include these women? Why does the artist want us to celebrate them?

If you could make an artwork like this, what shape would you use?


  1. Draw a shape on your cardboard, such as a star, flower, triangle, or heart.
  2. Repeat that shape a couple times, and feel free to change the scale or size of your shape.
  3. Use markers, colored pencils, or crayons to color in your shapes.
  4. Use scissors to cut out your shapes.
  5. Make a notch in each cardboard shape by making a small cut inward from the edge. You may need to make your notch bigger or smaller depending on the thickness of your cardboard.
  6. Construct your sculpture by connecting the notches. This is called the slot method. If you’re having trouble, check out this YouTube video for guidance.
  7. Create, cut out, and connect more cardboard shapes if you want more repetition.
  8. Admire your new 3D cardboard sculpture! 


Think of the original shape you started with and the final 3D form you created.

How does the final sculpture feel different from the singular piece?

What words, feelings, or ideas come up when you examine your 3D sculpture?

In this artwork, Ringgold represented a quilting bee, or a get-together for people to work on a group project, such as a large quilt. Through their joint efforts, individuals can come together to create something they could not have created on their own.

Why is it important to work together?

What amazings things can we accomplish when we work together?

CMA’s 2021 Art Auction and Fundraiser Exhibition, Now is Not the Time, takes place virtually from February 25 to March 11 in partnership with Artsy. Proceeds from the fundraiser exhibition ensure the continuation of CMA’s mission to provide vital access to the arts for children of all backgrounds and abilities from around the globe.

Pictured: The Sunflower Quilting Bee at Arles, Silkscreen Print, 1977

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