My White Friends

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Chicago, 2010 Photography 20x20" © 2010
My White Friends
Curated by: Ann Jastrab

428 Third St
San Francisco, CA 94107
June 20th, 2012 - July 15th, 2012
Opening: June 20th, 2012 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM

Mon: Closed | Tues - Thurs: 10a-10p | Fri - Sun: 10a-8p
galleries photography




Explores photography’s description of race


My White Friends

Photography by Myra Greene


Opening Reception: Wednesday, June 20th, 6-8pm

Exhibition dates: June 20th – July 15th, 2012


RayKo Photo Center Gallery

428 Third Street

San Francisco, CA 94107


My White Friends extends Myra Greene’s 10-year exploration into photography’s description of race.  Throughout her life, she has been questioned on why she has so many white friends, as though her African-American heritage should dictate a different social circle.  This line of thought reveals the undertone of racial politics of this nation. 

Over the last 5 years, Myra has traveled the country reconnecting with her past, and those who have influenced her personal worldview. My White Friends explores the challenges of presenting  whiteness in a photograph.  Images initially read as benign portraits of a cross section of white American life, yet the impetus for their creation lies in an undercurrent of racial description. By photographing friends, peers, and mentors, the images visually ponder if photography can capture and describe the nuances of whiteness.  Do gesture and environment allude to a lived truth, a performance by the sitter, or stereotype implored by the photographer? These photographs offer descriptions instead of resolutions.  Readers charged with dissecting coded information, are confronted with their own notions of race.

Myra Greene was born in New York City and received her B.F.A. from Washington University in St. Louis and her M.F.A. in photography from the University of New Mexico.  She currently resides in Chicago Il, where she is an Associate Professor of Photography at Columbia College Chicago.  She received an Illinois Arts Council Fellowship in Photography (2009) and has completed residencies at Light Work in Syracuse New York (2004) and the Center for Photography at Woodstock (2004). 

Greene’s work has been featured in nationally exhibitions in galleries and museums including The New York Public Library (2012), Art Museum of the Americas in Washington. D.C. (2012), FotoFest 2010 in Houston, Texas, at the Winter Street Studios (2010), Spelman College Museum of Fine Art in Atlanta (2009), Museum of the African Diaspora in San Francisco (2008), Yuma Art Center Museum in Yuma Arizona (2008), Wadswoth Museum in Hartford CT (2006) and Sculpture Center in New York City (2003).  Her work is in the permanent collection of Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago, Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, The National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C., and the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City and The New York Public Library.


This project is partially supported by a Community Arts Assistance Program grant from the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events and the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency. Support also provided by Columbia College Chicago.



About RayKo


RayKo Photo Center & Gallery is a comprehensive photographic facility, located near the Yerba Buena Arts District, with resources for anyone with a passion for photography. Established in the early 1990’s, RayKo Photo Center has grown to become one of San Francisco’s most beloved photography darkroom spaces; it includes traditional b&w and color labs as well as a state-of-the-art digital department, a professional rental studio, galleries, and the Photographer’s Marketplace – a retail space promoting the work of regional artists. RayKo also has San Francisco’s 1st Art*O*Mat vending machine and a vintage 1947 black & white Auto-Photo Booth.


RayKo Gallery serves to advance public appreciate of photography and create opportunities for regional and national artists to create and present their work. RayKo Gallery offers 1600 square feet of exhibition space and the Photographer’s Marketplace, which supports the work of Bay Area artists, and encourages the collection of artwork by making it accessible to collectors of all levels. The Photographer’s Marketplace offers photography collectors unique and affordable work from artists living and working in the surrounding area.


RayKo Photo Center & Gallery

428 Third Street

San Francisco, CA 94107

415-495-3773 (ph)

Tuesday-Thursday: 10-10 pm

Friday-Sunday: 10-8 pm

Monday: closed


*RayKo is located in the SOMA arts district of San Francisco within walking distance of SFMOMA, the Moscone Center, Yerba Buena Gardens, as well as AT&T Ballpark.