IllinoisHumanities

Dorothy Burge is a fabric and multimedia artist and community activist who is inspired by history and current issues of social justice. She is a self-taught quilter who began creating fiber art in the 1990s after the birth of her daughter, Maya.

Dorothy is a native and current resident of Chicago, but is descendent from a long line of quilters who hailed from Mississippi. These ancestors created beautiful quilts from recycled clothing. While she showed no interest in this art form as a child, she grew to treasure the quilts that were created by family elders. Her realization that the history and culture of her people were being passed through generations in this art form inspired her to use this medium as a tool to teach history, raise cultural awareness, and inspire action.

Dorothy received her Masters of Arts in Urban Planning and Policy and her Bachelors of Arts in Art Design, both from the University of Illinois at Chicago. She is a member of Blacks Against Police Torture and Chicago Torture Justice Memorials; both are cultural collectives seeking justice for police torture survivors. Dorothy is also a member of the Women of Color Quilter’s Network, (WCQN), and her quilts were part of several WCQN exhibitions including: And Still We Rise, We Who Believe in Freedom, Visioning Human Rights in the New Millennium, Yours for Race and Country: Reflections on the Life of Colonel Charles Young and

Commemorating His Purple Reign: A Textural Tribute to Prince.
Dorothy received a 2017 Robert Rauschenberg Foundation Artist as Activist fellowship and is an Envisioning Justice Commissioned Artist.