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Beverly McIver

Beverly McIver

“I think painting gives a voice to the things that are important to me that I want to address.”

Acclaimed contemporary painter Beverly McIver has long utilized self-portraiture and poignant depictions of her immediate family members to explore African-American identity and her own efforts to reconcile a challenging youth. Her paintings are constructions of thick, bold strokes of vibrant color that function as autobiographic examinations of race, gender, and social status. Early in her career, McIver studied to be a circus clown with Ringling Brothers. Performing under thick layers of make-up was expressively liberating; an experience that ultimately led to her most challenging and psychologically charged paintings. 

For many years, McIver has conducted professional development workshops for artists around the country. During her residency at the Center, McIver will collaborate with artists affiliated with LATIBAH Collard Green Museum, a burgeoning new community center in Charlotte dedicated to the preservation of the African-American experience in the South and the promotion of a new generation of arts and cultural leaders. 

Beverly McIver received a Bachelor of Art degree in Painting and Drawing from North Carolina Central University and a MFA in Painting and Drawing from Pennsylvania State University.  She has received numerous awards and fellowships, most notably a Radcliffe Fellowship from the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University, 2002; Creative Capital Grant, 2002; and a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship, 2001. In 2012, McIver was the subject of the Emmy-nominated HBO documentary Raising Renee that followed her transition from tenured university professor and rising art star to primary caregiver for her cognitively disabled sister. She is currently the Esbenshade Professor of the Practice, Art and Art History Department, Duke University. McIver’s residency is  generously supported by the Knight Foundation.

Artist Information

Residency Type Knight Alumni Artist-in-Residence

Currently Based Durham, North Carolina

Hometown Greensboro, North Carolina

Medium Painting

Residency Dates Sep 1 — Nov 25 2014