Artist Beverly McIver paints self-portraits that record her journey of self-discovery and the raw emotion that is unveiled through this investigation. She paints herself in black face to address issues of racial stereotypes. McIver is an associate professor of painting and drawing at Arizona State University in Tempe, Arizona.
While at Radcliffe, her plan is to make paintings inspired by her mother’s occupation. For fifty years, McIver’s mother has worked as a maid, cleaning houses and raising white children. “I’ve always had ambivalent feelings about my mother’s commitment and dedication to these white families,” McIver says. “I often felt that she cared more for the white children she raised than she did for me.” Further complicating her childhood was the fact that family attention often focused on the needs of her oldest sister, Renee, who is mentally disabled. Through her painting, McIver hopes to make peace with the profound impact—both positive and negative—that her mother’s profession and her sister’s needs had on her childhood. She is interested in creating works that address the complexities of these family relationships.
In 2001, McIver received a Creative Capital grant and a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation fellowship. In 2000 she received a fellowship from the Anonymous Was a Woman Foundation. She has had more than ten solo exhibitions and several group shows, and is represented by numerous galleries around the country.