Read about Bevely McIver’s New York Stories
In the Independent Weekly Arts Blog, VISUAL ART AND ARTISTS
Being Beverly McIver Posted by Chris Vitiello
In The Daily Tarheel: Artist displays self-portraits in Durham gallery by Elizabeth Baker
In the Duke Chronicle: Artist’s ‘New York’ collection on display at
Craven Allen Gallery by Andrew Karim
And in Afrikadaa by Durham’s Anne Gregory. The issue is called
E Motional! Beverly’s work exactly!
MCIVER RETURNS TO CRAVEN ALLEN WITH “NEW YORK STORIES”
Durham–Nationally acclaimed painter Beverly McIver returns to Craven Allen Gallery with “New York Stories”, featuring new work painted in the city where she has been living the past year – a time of intense personal growth. The large-scale oils highlight the dynamism of urban life, with subjects including street musicians, subway riders, the dancer Bill T. Jones, and her signature self-portraits.
McIver’s canvases glow with a vibrant immediacy. She mixes her own paints, juxtaposing luminous colors in vigorously applied brushstrokes, giving the canvases an almost sculptural quality up close, and lending the finished work a radiant vitality. All were painted in Brooklyn during her yearlong fellowship at the Marie Walsh Sharpe Foundation.
An HBO film about McIver, “Raising Renee”, is a 2013 Emmy Award nominee for Outstanding Arts and Culture Programming. Her work is in major public and private collections around the country, and The Mint Museum of Charlotte recently joined the Nasher in Durham and the North Carolina Museum of Art in purchasing work for their permanent collection. Earlier this spring, the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery honored McIver with a Commendation Award. In 2011, Art in America named McIver to their list of Top Ten in Painting. She serves on the board of Yaddo artists’ community.
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BEVERLY McIVER: NEW YORK STORIES
I lived in New York City in 2004, grateful to have received a studio through Marie Walsh Sharpe Foundation. The Foundation provides free studio for a year to artists. Receiving the studio space is competitive (over 1,200 artists typically apply for 17 vacant spaces), so being accepted provides an incredible opportunity to live, work, and breathe in one of the most culturally and artistically diverse locations in the world. My memories from that time are bittersweet, however, since it was the culmination of several major career-changing moments in my life – and it coincided with the death of my mother.
Fast-forward to 2012, when the director of the Marie Walsh Sharpe Foundation, Joyce Robinson, happened to attend a screening of the HBO documentary, “Raising Renee,” in Colorado. The film documents the promise to my mother to take care of my mentally retarded sister Renee after her death from cancer. After the film, Joyce talked with me, and suggested that I apply for the Foundation studio space, and revisit the opportunity to paint again in New York. I initially dismissed the thought, since I wasn’t too interested in picking up and moving. Life in North Carolina had its set of challenges, but the thought of relocating to New York again seemed initially stressful. But then I thought, “Why not?” I applied. And I was accepted, again.
So I packed up, brought my three cats along with me, and got my same apartment building on 34th Street, right across from one of my favorite stores, Macy’s, knowing that I likely couldn’t afford it, but wanting to take full advantage of this opportunity once again. I also knew this would be a chance to think about what my last stay here meant, and the memories associated with my mother. I was also looking forward to painting, and exploring the thoughts that pervaded my memories.
So many things happened while I was in New York: Hurricane Sandy turned the city into a disaster zone; my New York gallery, Betty Cuningham Gallery exhibited my work; I enjoyed dinner with my closest friends in Manhattan, Philip and Dorothy Pearlstein; and I even went on a few uneventful dates. Most importantly, however, I was able to simply paint. The studio space in Brooklyn was full of light; from a wall of windows I could look out on the Manhattan Bridge. The noise from the nearby subway trains was a constant low-grade rumble.
Initially, I painted topics familiar to me – self-portraits in happy as well as dark moments, and portraits of my friends and people that I admire, including dancer and choreographer, Bill T. Jones. I also began reaching beyond my usual subject matter. The subway fascinated me, particularly the people who ride the trains. I would surreptitiously take pictures of total strangers, and those images then became portraits. I enjoyed painting them, hoping to capture the moment in time that the subway ride is: the tightly enclosed space which throws together all walks of life, folks who have no choice but to relate to each other. The faces, the body postures, even the objects people carried told incredible unspoken stories. The performers on the 34th street subway platform also intrigued me; I wanted to capture their energetic movements and the passion they brought to the underground.
The year passed quickly. Living in New York in 2013, as opposed to 2004, was an opportunity to reflect on myself, and what has happened in my life in the last nine years. I am the product of my life’s stories, and my paintings are a clear reflection of this. This past year in New York has allowed me to give closure to pivotal moments in my life. I am grateful, and look forward to sharing new stories.
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Birds and animals, in many media and forms
a review by Blue Greenberg in the Herald Sun
CONNECTING THE GENERATIONS
PHIL FREELON PHOTOGRAPHS
Deep Roots: The Smithsonian National Museum
of African American History and Culture by Phil Freelon
Maya Freelon Asante is an award-winning artist whose artwork was described by poet Maya Angelou as “visualizing the truth about the vulnerability and power of the human being,” and her unique tissue paper work was also praised by the International Review of African American Art as a “vibrant, beating assemblage of color.” She was selected by Modern Luxury Magazine as Best of the City 2013 and by the Huffington Post’s “Black Artists: 30 Contemporary Art Makers Under 40 You Should Know”.
Maya has exhibited her work nationally and internationally including Paris, Ghana, and US Embassies in Madagascar, Italy, Jamaica, and Swaziland. She has been a professor of art at Towson University and Morgan State University.
May has attended numerous residencies including Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, the Korobitey Institute and Brandywine Workshop. She earned a BA from Lafayette College and an MFA from the School of Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.
Blue Greenberg: Freelon exhibit offers new perspective
The International Review of African American Art Plus
Takes “A Closer Look With Phil Freelon”
All the wooden boats are docked
to start the day. Men and boys work
their fingers through the fine green netting
so fast the camera catches only lime blur.
The women watch—babies crooked
in hip creases—studying the way these men,
their men will provide. This is happy hour
in Accra, where no one makes a three-minute
pitch or pushes cardboard in your hand.
This poem was inspired by a photograph of the same name taken by Phil Freelon, whose exhibition, “Structure”, is at the Craven Arts Gallery in Durham until June 15th.
by Pamela Taylor
TOM KREGEL: A LIFE’S WORK IN THREE DIMENSIONS
CHAD HUGHES: LIGHT PLAY
The gallery is proud to present a retrospective of visionary artist Tom Kregel (1938-2002). Kregel’s astounding original sculptures and beautifully detailed drawings suggest narratives ranging from poetic melancholy to funky humor.
Also featured is Chad Hughes, a master of realistic painting and a former Kregel colleague.
MJ SHARP has uploaded her long exposure photograph that she took during her January 17th talk and demonstration. This photo is very interesting as are MJ’s notes on the piece. It’s like a mystery revealed!