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When Minneapolis became the epicenter of the nationwide protest movement against police brutality and racism in America following the death of George Floyd on May 25, 2020, Textile Center and Women of Color Quilters Network (WCQN) joined forces to create We Are the Storya multi-venue initiative in the Twin Cities that runs from September 10, 2020, through June 12, 2021.

Carolyn Mazloomi, Curator of We Are the Story

Under the curatorial direction of Carolyn Mazloomi, WCQN founder and member of Textile Center’s National Artist Advisory Council, We Are the Story explores themes of liberation, resistance and empowerment, offering a visually compelling account of the breadth of experiences and struggles that comprise Black history in an honest and critical way.

Given the urgency of these issues in America, quilters from around the nation worked under an extremely tight creative timeline. The calls were open in mid-June to all artists regardless of age, color, national origin, citizenship status, race, religion, creed, gender, sexual orientation, and gender identity. 423 quilts were submitted by the July 31 deadline. Mazloomi selected 89 quilts for the two exhibitions that serve as the centerpiece for We Are the Story.

Select quilts will also be presented with community partners later this winter and spring including the University of Minnesota’s Weisman Art Museum, Division of Indian Work in South Minneapolis, the University of Minnesota’s Robert J. Jones Urban Research and Outreach-Engagement Center in North Minneapolis, Homewood Studios in North Minneapolis, Studio 106 in Burnsville, and St. Catherine University’s Apparel, Merchandising and Design Gallery.

Read the press release from the Textile Center on the entire project >>


At the Weisman

The Weisman’s installation will feature three works by artist Penny Mateer of Pittsburgh, PA. The works will be on display beginning October 15, 2020 until May 23, 2021.

Fight the Power! #15 Protest Series by Penny Mateer


Fight the Power! #15 Protest Series
A collaboration with Martha Wasik
Quilt 58″ x 77″ 2018
Commercial fabric, hand-cut newspaper collage, digital print, hand embroidered, machine pieced and quilted
Photo by Larry Berman


THIS Revolution Will Not Be Televised. #13 Protest Series by Penny Mateer




THIS Revolution Will Not Be Televised #13 Protest Series
A collaboration with Martha Wasik
94″ x 77″ 2015
Commerical fabric, photo transfer, custom commercially printed, machine pieced, appliquéd and quilted
Photo by Larry Berman




George Floyd 5/27/2020 by Penny Mateer









George Floyd 5/27/2020
Hand-cut newspaper collage, fleece, digital print
Photo by Larry Berman







About the Artist

Penny Mateer

Penny Mateer, artist/activist

Penny Mateer, artist/activist, works with textiles and recycled materials. Her art is rooted in quilting and embroidery, traditionally thought of as “women’s work.” Drawing from this rich history of creating functional objects intended to provide warmth and comfort, she chooses fabric as her primary material to establish connection through shared experience and spark discussion around current events. Her social practice centers on a community-made public art project to promote voting. Mateer lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.