Regina Jestrow is a visual artist from Queens, NY currently based in Miami, FL. Her mother taught her how to sew and crochet when she was a child, and she’s has utilized these skills throughout her practice. Jestrow attended an art schools for photography, but when she moved to Miami, she switched her focus to quilting and painting to cope with homesickness. Jestrow’s ongoing interests in women’s history and patterns of American quilt traditions lead her to develop a body of work that includes painting, drawings, textile wall-hangings and wearables, and sculptural installations.
Selected solo projects include “Treble Flow”, at Oolite Arts Walgreens Windows (2020), “Forms of The Everglades”, at Miami-Dade College Homestead Library (2016), “Linens” at Hollywood Art & Culture Center (2015), and “Drawings” at 6th Street Container, Miami, Florida (2014). Selected group exhibitions include “Deering Spring Contemporary” at the Deering Estate, Miami, Florida (2020), “Reclaimed Landscapes” at Harvest Project, Miami, Florida (2019), and “More Women Painting”, at Design Sublime, Miami, Florida (2017). Jestrow has been awarded artist residencies at The Deering Estate (2015), National Park Service Artist in Residence in the Everglades (AIRIE) (2014), and The Studios of Key West (2012). In 2020, Jestrow was awarded the Miami-Dade Artists Support! (MÁS!) Grant, the Betancourt-Latorre Foundation Visual Artist Relief Fund Covid-19, and the Oolite Arts Relief Fund for COVID-19.
I found much-needed solace in my home studio in 2020. My ongoing series called, “Americana Quilts”, began during the Black Live Matter protests as the Corona Virus pandemic spread. I began to look deeper into America’s history and my relationship with what was happening around me today. While researching American women activists during Civil Rights, Anti- Slavery, and Suffrage movements, I discovered quilts and textiles were used to further these causes as a means of education, story telling, record keeping, fundraising and support, and for banners during protests.
My quilts consist of a combination of second-hand found clothing and new cotton fabrics in varied tones representative of the flesh-tones of the American population as well as the American landscape. My abstraction of traditional repeat patterns are meditatively sewn together with the frayed edges of the fabric exposed. Using the sewing machine as a drawing tool, rhythmic flowing lines mimic and accentuate the patterns.