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Beverly Buchanan and Patchwork Houses

Beverly Buchanan, Two Red Shacks, 1996. Oil pastel on paper. Morris Museum of Art, Augusta, Georgia.

Southern artist Beverly Buchanan is noted for her exploration of the southern vernacular through her art. Buchanan grew up in Orangeburg, SC, where her adopted father was dean of the School of Agriculture at South Carolina State College, the only state school for African-Americans in South Carolina. In 1962 Buchanan graduated from Bennett College in Greensboro, NC with a degree in medical technology. She also attended Columbia University where she received a master’s in parasitology and a second master’s in public health.

At the midpoint of her life Beverly Buchanan left behind a successful public health career in New York to become an artist. In 1971 she enrolled in a class taught by Norman Lewis at the Art Students League in New York City, through which Romare Bearden became her friend and mentor throughout the 1970’s. Buchanan decided to pursue her art exclusively in 1977, and moved to Macon, GA.

She is best known for her sculptural shacks, loose interpretations of the dilapidated cabins that dot the Southern landscape. More than indicating Buchanan’s southern biography, however, these shacks represent the identity of place, the persistence of memory, and serve as a testament to human resilience in the face of poverty and racism.

Beverly Buchanan was the recipient of numerous prestigious awards including; a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, a Pollock-Krasner Foundation Award, and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Women’s Caucus for Art.

Beverly Buchanan passed away in 2015 at the age of 74.

Make A Patchwork House





Colorful paper (magazines, scrapbook paper, newspapers, stickers, et cetera)


1. Cut your cardboard into the shape of a house/shack

2. Gather some colorful paper

3. Cut the paper to cover your house

4. Glue the paper down


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