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April 26, 2007

Painting Faces


Beverly McIver is an award-winning artist. Her paintings are exhibited in collections across the country. Many of them draw on the discomfort she felt growing up black in North Carolina and living through the Greensboro Massacre.

Beverly also grew up resenting her mentally-disabled sister, Renee, who commanded much of her mother's attention. When Beverly later created portraits of Renee, she found herself scratching Renee's face out with her brush.Years later, when Beverly's mother was dying in a hospital, she painted the scene complete with tubes and monitors. 

After her mother died, Beverly became the caregiver for Renee - a change that inspired a new poignancy in the paintings she now does of Renee and herself. For Beverly, art is a way of coping and celebrating. 

The thing that happens with art for me is that whatever comes up comes out.
-Beverly McIver



Abul Hussam grew up in Bangladesh, where many people get their drinking water from wells that are contaminated with arsenic.

Abul now teaches chemistry at George Mason University in Virginia. He recently won a $1 million Grainger prize for inventing a filter that makes drinking water safe. What's more, the filter is simple enough and cheap enough that poor people in rural areas will be able to afford and use it.

Abul had good reason to develop his filter.

We have been drinking this water as long as we can remember. And they did not know there was arsenic in the water because it was not measured.
-Abul Hussam

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