Painter McIver Subject of New HBO Film
Saratoga Springs, NY (February 10, 2012) - Raising Renee, a film chronicling the transformation in painter Beverly McIver's life when her promise to take care of her mentally disabled sister comes due, will debut Wednesday, February 22, on HBO.
Beverly McIver in Raising Renee
Filmed over the course of six years, and partially at Yaddo, Raising Renee begins in 2003, as McIver is savoring opening night of her first solo art show in New York, joined by her mother, Ethel, and her sister, Renee, a 43-year-old who functions at the level of a third grader. When Ethel dies the next year, McIver’s pledge to care for her sister, made years earlier, is put to the test, just as she is beginning to focus on her expanding career and on finding a life partner.
Produced and directed by Oscar nominees Jeanne Jordan and Steven Ascher, Raising Renee explores deep themes of family, race, class, and disability through the interplay of painting, cinema, and everyday life. The documentary presents events as seen through the lens of a camera crew and as interpreted in McIver’s art, following her struggle to make a life for herself and her sister without ending her career as an artist.
McIver, who has held several working residencies at Yaddo, is widely acknowledged as a significant presence in contemporary American art in general and as an important African American woman artist. Her work is in the collections of the North Carolina Museum of Art, the Weatherspoon Art Museum in Greensboro, North Carolina, where she grew up, and the Baltimore Museum of Art, among other institutions. McIver currently is the Suntrust Endowed Chair Professor of Art at North Carolina Central University. Her paintings have been reviewed in ArtNews, Art in America, and The New York Times. Critic, and fellow Yaddodian, Irving Sandler has described McIver’s art as a merger of “personal confession and social commentary, photography and painting, and realism and expressionism.”
Check your local listings for Raising Renee viewing times your area. Click here to watch a preview of the documentary. Read a recent story about McIver in The New York Times.