Photographer to lecture on race in art and contemporary culture

by University Communications,

Contemporary artist and professor Myra Greene will share her ideas on photography’s depiction of race when she visits Willamette University Feb. 15 as part of the Hogue-Sponenburgh Art Lecture Series.

The lecture will begin at 5:30 p.m. in Cone Chapel on the second floor of Waller Hall, and it is free and open to the public.

Drawing on her portrait series “My White Friends” and other recent work, Greene’s illustrated lecture will examine race, aesthetics and the role of art in contemporary culture.

While on campus, she will also meet with advanced art students for individual critiques, visit an introductory photography class and talk with students over lunch.

Art professor Alexandra Opie says Greene’s lecture will prompt reflection on whiteness as one in a spectrum of many racial identities.

“This event is exciting for Willamette since it will start conversations about identity and race and about how art addresses personal and political topics,” Opie says. “Myra Greene’s lecture will bring new material to that ongoing conversation.”

Greene is an associate professor of photography at Columbia College Chicago. Her artwork, recently featured in The New York Times, has been exhibited in the New York Public Library, Art Museum of the Americas in Washington, D.C., and the Museum of African Diaspora in San Francisco.

In Greene’s earlier work, she examined her own identity and the broader racial identity of African Americans. In the series “My White Friends,” she is creating images that provoke reflection on whiteness — her attempt to explore the challenges of describing whiteness and assumptions about social circles.

The Hogue-Sponenburgh Lecture Series brings noted scholars, artists, critics and curators to campus to meet informally with students and faculty and deliver a public lecture. This year’s lecture is presented by the Department of Art.

For more information about “My White Friends” and Greene’s other work, visit her website: