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Artist Lavett Ballard standing next to one of her paintings
Artist Lavett Ballard, a graduate of Rutgers University–Camden, was commissioned to create the cover of TIME for its 100 Women of the Year issue, published in March 2020.
Photography courtesy of Jonathan Kolbe

The serendipity of a storm’s damage led artist Lavett Ballard to use discarded wooden fencing as the medium for her paintings of African-American women. Following graduation from Rutgers University–Camden, Ballard CCAS’15, by then in her 30s, augmented her fence paintings with mixed media collages, leading to her being named in 2018 by Black Art in America as one of the top 10 emerging black female artists to collect. Ballard was commissioned to create the cover of TIME for its 100 Women of the Year issue, published in March 2020. Ballard’s recognition culminates 30 years of creating art, during which she painted, worked, and raised her three children.