OURstory: Human Rights Stories in Fabric

OURstory: Human Rights Stories in Fabric
June 8 - September 8, 2020

"Colorblind" By Mary Jane Sneyd

Rights! Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Aren't we all entitled to that?

In 1948, the United Nations adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which was drafted by a committee chaired by Eleanor Roosevelt. It delineated the rights to which all humans in all countries should be entitled. This poignant and timely collection is about our human rights, the groups who've been denied them, the heroes who've fought for them, as well as the events that drew the attention of news media and the public. Forty-seven artists from six countries tell those stories and some personal ones as well.

This exhibition is a visual reminder of the words of Franklin Delano Roosevelt etched next to the sculpture of Eleanor Roosevelt:  “The structure of world peace cannot be the work of one man, or one party, or one nation…it must be a peace which rests on the cooperative effort of the whole world.”


Today's renewed interest in our basic rights has become part of popular culture and breaking news, and this colorful new way to approach human rights answers the demand for new perspectives on the issues. From the Mexican border to the #MeToo movement, these images made in fabric are amazing and thought provoking.

These 65 quilts created by 47 artists from six countries focus on the history of the battles for human, civil, and political rights and the continuing developments today. They also celebrate heroes who fought for rights, as well as the events that have drawn attention of the news media and the public. Personal stories offer moving reminders and encouragement for future rights successes. 

Every quilt, except for two, has a call-in number to listen to an audio talk by the artist. The call-in information is on the gallery label (please note additional charges may apply).


Susanne Miller Jones, Curator

Susanne has been creating art all her life. Fiber art opened many doors and introduced her to fiber artists around the world who have become friends through the magic of social media. Her work is in private collections, exhibited in national shows, and featured in several books.

She is the author of Fly Me to the Moon: An Art Journey and HERstory Quilts: A Celebration of Strong Women. Jones is a member of Studio Art Quilt Associates, the Quilt Alliance, and serves on the Sacred Threads committee. A retired elementary school teacher and mother of two, Jones and her husband, Todd, live in Potomac Falls, Virginia.

Ruby Bridges: Standing Alone by Leo T. Ransom (left) All I Want is Education by Kay Benedict (right)

Still Dreaming of Equality I by Deb Berkebile (left) Quiet Storm by Nneka K. Gamble (right)

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