Jasmine Best tells stories in her textile and fiber art. Often, they are her own. Other times, they are family stories. But all give a platform to the varied experiences and identities of Black women in the South.
Artist: Born in Jacksonville, NC, and grew up mostly in North Charleston, SC. Best earned a BFA in New Media and Design from University of North Carolina at Greensboro.
Studio: Currently, Best is based in Athens, GA. She is an MFA student at the University of Georgia and has a studio on campus.
In the beginning: She decided to leave engineering school to pursue a degree in animation. From there, Best started to combine traditional medium with digital art and decided to become an artist.
Art & materials: Textile and large installation art, using found fabrics, embroidery, wool felting, yarn tufting, and digital printing onto fabric.Lately, Best has been adding more woodworking and sculptural paper making to her work.
“I think of myself as a mark maker,” said Best. “So my work, both 2D and 3D, end up feeling like paintings in some ways even though they are made up of fabric and thread.”
What’s popular: Her recent work about Southern folk tales, including “Woman is Smarter than the Devil Himself” ($4,000) and “The Devil Taught Her How to Use ‘Em” ($4,000).
Other favorites: “Sailor Venus” ($2,300) and “Mouthpiece” ($2,300).
Favorite tools: Her Pfaff 720 sewing machine, her yarn tufting machines, Photoshop and her drawing tablet.
“I love using a spoke shave (a hand tool) to carve away at wood,” said Best. “It is very meditative.”
- Artists, including Emma Amos and Romare Bearden. Also Tameka Norris.
- Southeastern folk history and stories.
- Books, including recent reads of Marlon James and Morgan Jenkins.
Recent awards/honors: Selected as a 2023-2024 Garden Fellow at TILA Studios in Atlanta.
Recent project: An Olive’s Porch residency at the John C. Campbell Folk School in North Carolina, where Best spent the last three months making new work and taking classes
- “Southern Tales Retold” exhibition at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Reception is Oct. 27.
- Exhibition at Lyndon House Arts Center in Athens from November through March 2024
- Attending Art Basel in Miami in December as part of her TILA Studios fellowship.
Where to buy: jasminebest.com
- Instagram: Jasminebestart.