Claiming Williams looks at My White Friends
We were happy to welcome about 40 students, faculty, and staff to the galleries and rotunda for a discussion of Myra Greene’s newly installed exhibition My White Friends. The exhibition is a selection of 20 of Greene’s portraits of her friends, each in a setting they felt most comfortable in. Harry Gilbert ’14 worked with Maurita Poole, Mellon Curatorial Fellow for Diversity in the Arts, to bring the exhibition here.
After a brief introduction, we were given a few writing prompts/questions on clipboards. You answered your question and then passed your clipboard in and got a new one with a different question and someone’s response to it. You could comment on the previous person’s response or just respond on your own. After about 20 minutes of this passing clipboards and answering questions, the sheets were all collected and we broke into small groups. Each group member received one of the filled-out question sheets, we went around and read all the answers and then discussed those reactions/responses.
To conclude we all got together in a big group and one person from each group summarized key points from their group.
Overall it was a brilliant way to learn the opinions of many members of a large group without bedlam erupting. While I certainly didn’t get to speak to everyone there, I felt like I learned personally what a pretty good percentage of them thought about the photos. With the mix of students, faculty, staff, and community members you got to experience many different perspectives on the exhibition.
But the perspective I’m really looking forward to is Myra’s and you can learn about her motivations and inspirations too! Myra will be here on Friday night (February 8) giving a talk about the project at 7 PM in the gallery. Make plans to come and join in the conversation. We hope to see you here! The Friday, February 8 event has been cancelled due to the snow storm! It will be rescheduled in March.
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