About the Author
It’s now clear that fabric artist Sonié Ruffin, has been ahead of the curve all along when it comes to breaking art world boundaries. Today’s cutting-edge art is all about mixing high and low, craft and art, and broadening awareness of large areas of history and experience once relegated to the fringes. Ruffin’s been doing this for years, turning quilt-making into a forum for sharing important stories and cultural commentary about the African-American experience
Alice Thorson Editor, KC Studio Art Magazine, former Art Critic for the Kansas City Star
Sonié Joi Thompson-Ruffin’s fabric art is contemporary and bold, it draws from a centuries old wellspring that explores humanity through the crux of the African American experience, she designs from the heart, painting with fabric and embellishing with her needle to reveal universal truths. She is master at incorporating the boldness of African print fabrics with a variety of print fabrics to create striking designs.
Sonié’s stories embrace the very essence of the African American community and culture. Her stories share life’s hardships and the courage to move onward through life’s disappointments realizing with each waking moment there are lessons to be learned. She embraces community, in turn teaches her audience the importance of life’s possibilities understanding the thread that connects us all together in this life we live.
Sonié Joi has led workshops and lectures on African American quilting at the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the Kansas City History Museum, the Spencer Museum of Art, Johnson County Museum, Nelson -Atkins Museum of Art, Nerman Museum of Art, University of Missouri of Kansas City and Lincoln University.
Her artwork has been exhibited at the American Jazz Museum, David C. Driskell Center, Bates Museum of Art, Holter Museum of Art, New England Quilt Museum, Rozier Museum, Spencer Museum of Art, Carter-Kemper Art Center, Bruce R. Watkins Cultural Heritage Center, Leedy-Voulkos Art Center, Portfolio Gallery, Philadelphia Belmont Mansion, Mulvane Museum.
Sonié Joi’s fabric art can be found in the permanent collections of the Nelson -Atkins Museum of Art, the Spencer Museum of Art, Sprint Corporation, McDaniel-Hazley Insurance Corporation, Truman Medical Centers. Her artwork has graced the covers of KC Studio Art Magazine, New Letters Magazine, the Spencer Museum of Art Register.
Sonié is the designer of the Nelson Mandela Memorial quilt for Grace and Holy Trinity Cathedral and the South African Consulate
Her latest Public Art project to date is the Leon Mercer Jordan East Patrol, Kansas City, MO featuring her master artwork designs of Community Dignity that appears on the front of the police station and iNeema, on the outside wall of Crime Lab on the same campus.