Beverly McIver – Gracie with Collaged Background
Dimensions: 30 x 30″ unframed
Year: c. 2016
Medium: oil and mixed media mounted to panel
Beverly McIver grew up in the projects in Greensboro, North Carolina, where the drug store sit-ins and KKK shootings were a well known reality. Racism was rampant, and McIver’s mother — a single mom– worked as a maid to support her three children, one of whom had a mental disability.
Beverly McIver was bussed across town to attend high school at a predominantly white school in the wealthy part of town. She had grown up playing with readily available white dolls, a constant reminder that she was an outsider.
Years later, as an adult, a curator friend of McIver’s gave her a black rag doll McIver named Gracie, and McIver set about creating a series of paintings about Gracie. McIver writes, “The doll was different from the other dolls I had. She reminded me of myself as a child. I found her cute and innocent. I fell in love with her immediately.”