For the past four years, Sonie Ruffin, a self-taught fabric artist and story teller, has carved out a niche for herself in the arts community as a fabric artist, fabric designer, and writer.
Sonie has lectured and led workshops on her work at the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s Renwick Gallery, the Kansas City Museum of Art, the University of Missouri-Kansas City African-American Culture House, and Lincoln University. She has exhibited her work at the Leedy-Volkus Art Center, the American Jazz Museum, Portfolio Gallery and International Quilt Festival 2006.
Sonie’s art quilts can be found in permanent collections at galleries, museums, private and corporate collections such as the Portfolio Gallery, Leedy-Volkus Art Center, the Spencer Museum of Art, and the Sprint corporation. Her tote bag collection appropriately named “Sonie” can be found at the Nelson Atkins Museum of Art gift shop. Her Andover fabric collection “My African Village” is available in retail quilt stores across the country.
Sonie’s vibrant quilts are contemporary and bold. They draw 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 a master at incorporating the boldness of African print fabrics with American print fabrics to create striking designs. She incorporates basic block designs with her own personal designs and invites the viewer to engage in a mental and spiritual conversation with her artwork.
Sonie’s stories and prayers are written to embrace and inspire you. She shares stories from her life experiences: growing up in her African-American community of Joplin, the African-American culture, life’s hardships and the courage to triumph over life’s disappointments, and realizing with each waking moment there are lessons to be learned.
She embraces community and in turn teaches her audience the importance of our understanding the thread that connects us all together in this tapestry of life.
Sonie has written The Soulful Art of African-American Quilts: 19 Bold, Improvisational Projects for The Kansas City Star. Her second book regarding quilting and Negro Leagues baseball will be released in Spring 2008.