With more than 200 portraits already completed, Regans has formed a sorority of sorts where mourning mothers can become whole thanks partly to her work. Many have even referred the artist as one of their own, with Saul calling her a “sister” and Bush considering her an “angel.” The praises elicited from the mothers at just the mere mention of Regans’ name speak to a palpable level of empathy present in her portraits, said Oolite Arts president Dennis Scholl.
“Chire is the one person who, through her portraits, lets the family know that loved one is not forgotten,” Scholl says. Oolite, which presents the Ellie Awards to Miami artists, just honored Regans with its inaugural 2020 Social Justice award.
Regans, however, wanted to do more. To further the impact of her portraits, she set about trying to find a stationary place where the likes of Solomon, Brown and hundreds of others could be enshrined in perpetuity. When Bakehouse acting director Cathy Leff was approached with housing this mural in June, she agreed immediately.
“We’re really interested in art that reflects the community, that engages the community and that speaks to the community,” Leff says.