Beverly McIver’s paintings are a voyage in self-revelation from her earlier self-portraits in white face (the clown) to black face (confronting the black stereotype); to more recently, the unmasking of her skin, body and feelings as she explores her identity as an artist and as an African American. Her primary subjects are her family members, in particular her sister Renee and mother, who worked as a maid for fifty years. She is currently the Ebenshade Professor of the Practice in Studio Arts at Duke University.
McIver has been the recipient of numerous awards and fellowships, most notably the Rome Prize Fellowship, 2017; Purchase Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, 2017; Marie Walsh Sharpe Fellowship, 2012-2013 and 2003; Radcliffe Fellowship from the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University, 2002; Creative Capital Grant, 2002; John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship, 2001; and the Anonymous Was A Woman Grant, 2000. Her work is in numerous public collections, including the Baltimore Museum of Art, Crocker Art Museum, North Carolina Museum of Art and the Weatherspoon Art Museum.
In December 2011, HBO presented a feature length documentary about the life and painting of Beverly McIver, titled Raising Renee, directed and written by Jeanne Jordan and Steven Ascher and produced by West City Films.