Brief-description: Quilting exhibition Sept. 15 through Jan. 6
Event url: www.burchfieldpenney.org
About: Feminism, poetry and the vibrant symbolism of the female experience Jennifer Regan (1934 –2016) threaded into powerful quilts to siphon triumph, tragedy, death, mourning and rebirth are the focus of the exhibition. For much of her early life, Regan lived what many would consider a privileged “American Dream.” In 1959, she married Edward (Ned) V. Regan, who later served as Erie County Executive and New York State Comptroller. Salvaged: The Stitched Narratives of Jennifer Regan will open Friday, September 14, 2018 as part M&T Second Friday and be on view thru Sunday, January 6, 2018.
Born and raised in Orchard Park, NY, she attended Buffalo Seminary, and earned undergraduate and graduate degrees from Smith College and University at Buffalo. In the 1960s, Jennifer Regan emerged as a well-established writer in Western New York, publishing poetry in journals and reviewing books for the Buffalo News. As a highly regarded political family, they were dubbed the “Buffalo’s Kennedys” during Ned Regan’s tenure as County Executive. Despite seemingly having it all, Jennifer Regan was troubled.
When they divorced in 1988, her self-identity changed dramatically. Struggling with the loss of married
life and a wide array of emotions, she turned to art to exhaust anguish writing poetry to narrate womanhood within the contexts of patriarchal power. These messages transferred to quilts to create stitched narratives displayed on walls. Initially, these security blankets grieved the loss of a former life as well as accepting her new role as a single, middle-aged woman.
Regan created over 100 stitched narratives between 1989 and 2006. Not particularly religious, she focused on certain Biblical stories in some of her work. Regan identified heavily with both Eve and “Mrs. Noah,” and used their stories to comment on personal frustration.