Beverly McIver is widely acknowledged as a significant presence in contemporary American art and has charted a new direction as an African American woman artist. She is committed to producing art that examines racial, gender, social and occupational identity. Her sister Renee is a frequent subject of the artist, as well as other family members.
Her work is in the collection of the North Carolina Museum of Art, the Weatherspoon Art Museum in Greensboro, N.C., the Baltimore Museum of Art, the NCCU Museum of Art , the Asheville Museum of Art, The Crocker Art Museum , The Nasher Museum and the Nelson Fine Arts Museum on the campus of Arizona State University.
McIver’s work has been reviewed in Art News, Art in America The New York Times and a host of local newspapers. She has received numerous grants and awards including the Anonymous Was A Woman Foundation grant, a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship, a Radcliffe Fellowship from Harvard University, a Marie Walsh Sharpe Foundation award, a distinguished Alumni Award from Pennsylvania State University, a Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Award and Creative Capital grant.
Born in Greensboro, North Carolina, she is the youngest of Ethel McIver's three daughters. Her oldest sister, Renee, is mentally disabled and has the mindset of a second grader. At the request of their mother, Beverly is now Renee's legal guardian.
McIver is the subject of an HBO documentary, Raising Renee. This feature length film is about a promise McIver made to her mother, to care for her mentally disabled sister, Renee upon the death of their mother. This documentary aired on HBO for three years, beginning December, 2011, and was nominated for an Emmy Award in 2014.
McIver earned a bachelor’s degree in art from North Carolina Central University, a master of fine arts degree in painting from Pennsylvania State University, and an honorary doctorate from North Carolina Central University.
Currently, she is the Esbenshade Professor of the Practice of Visual Arts at Duke University. Prior to this appointment, she was the Suntrust Endowed Chair Professor of Art at North Carolina Central University for six years. McIver taught at Arizona State University in Tempe, AZ. for twelve years before returning to North Carolina. She has also held residencies at many of the nation’s leading artist communities, including YADDO, the Headland Center for the Arts, Djerassi, and Penland School of Crafts. She has served on the board at Penland School of Arts and Crafts, Penland, NC and currently serves on the board of directors at YADDO in Saratoga Springs, NY.