Instructions for Participating Artists

“Ribbons, Not Walls” is a display of fabric art, illustrating social action carried out by Unitarian Universalist and Humanist groups or individuals, to be featured at the UUA General Assembly in Louisville, KY, in June, 2013.

There will be 24 panels, each portraying some aspect* (theme, episode, cover art) of one of the Banned Books by Hispanic authors from the Phoenix GA Book SmUUggler project**, or of another 2012 or 2013 immigration reform/immigrant rights activity. Panels may be done in applique, embroidery, quilting, or any means of putting durable images on fabric. Calligraphy (on fabric, not paper) is also welcomed.

Each artist is asked to produce one panel (landscape orientation) 36” wide and 18” high, sufficiently sturdy to withstand shipping and gentle repeated handling. Panels should be backed by muslin and have a horizontal fabric tie nine inches long and ½’ wide, securely attached at each corner.

HUUmanists will display the panels at the General Assembly, and other appropriate venues during 2013 and 2014. Panels will be returned to their creators late in 2014, unless further use is mutually agreed to.

At GA we will display six panels at a time (with accompanying explanatory text) on a ”Wall” backdrop and rotate the panels throughout the week. This display will be in the HUUmanists booth in the Exhibit Hall, which is open to all registered delegates and guests, and on the final day, to the general public.

At several points during the week, all of the panels will be loosely tied together into a long ribbon, which volunteers will parade carefully through the Convention Center, or display at large attendance events.

Completed panels need to be shipped to the coordinator no later than May 15, unless the artist will be attending GA in Louisville, and commits to bringing the panel to the booth on the morning of June 19. The shipping address is 10559 S Wood St. Chicago, IL 60643-2719.

To join the project and commit to contributing a panel, send your name, contact information and proposed theme to

Questions may be addressed to the coordinator, Roger Brewin, at 773-881-4028, or 773-551-8540 cell.

* For example, my wife and I are doing a fabric collage of workers picking in the strawberry fields from Francisco Jiménez’ “The Circuit: Stories from the Life of a Migrant Child.” Nicole Smith is stitching the scene of tears falling into the simmering cooking pot from Laura Esquivel’s “Like Water for Chocolate.”

Other suggested panel themes include – depictions of members of your congregation/group tutoring migrant children, displaying the Banned Books this past September, shipping children’s books to Arizona. Themes from the books themselves might include – the title figure from “Zoot Suit” by Luis Valdez, the ‘four skinny trees” from Sandra Cisneros’ “The House on Mango Street.” We also need four artists to each produce a title panel bearing the project name “Ribbons not Walls.”

** The complete list of books from which panel themes may be drawn is available on this website.