Greta Rybus chats with guests of Surel's Place

Greta Rybus

(Portland, Maine) Artist Website Artist-in-Residence August Residency Year: 2018


Joining us from Portland, Maine, 2018 September Artist-in-Residence Greta Rybus, is a full-time freelance photojournalist specializing in editorial portraiture, food, travel, and documentary photography. She was the second resident participating in our pARTner Schools Program, working with photography students at Fairmont Junior High School, a natural fit for Rybus who has taught photography workshops in local communities during most of her travel experiences, including in Senegal, where she taught basic photojournalism practices to disadvantaged teens at a local non-profit.

This residency at Surel’s Place is a return home for Greta who has lived away from Idaho for the past 13 years. Born in Boise, she took her first classes in photography at Boise High School and studied writing at The Cabin. After “saving up for [her] first cameras by waitressing at Redfish Lake in the summers,” Rybus went on to study Photojournalism and Cultural Anthropology at the University of Montana. Her clients include The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and the Chicago Tribune.

For the past four years, Greta Rybus has been working on a six-location series about how communities and individuals experience climate change, reframing the environmental issue as a human rights issue through photographs and written story. Thus far, Rybus has spent time in the deserts of Senegal, the tropical region of Panama, and the arctics of Norway. At each location, she has partnered with a residency program, and she notes she has, “come to appreciate the way a residency program can foster a deeper connection to the community as well as a source of accountability.”


Greta Rybus’s month at Surel’s Place will be to work on the “Home” component of the project – investigating how climate change has impacted her home state, specifically those fighting wildfires or working in ranching and farming, as well as indigenous people and communities. Her final presentation at Surel’s Place on September 26th, titled “Desert, Tropic, Arctic, HOME,” shared the work from the previous locations and what she accomplished while at Surel’s Place. Although Idaho is just one chapter in the project, it may have inspired the foundation for the entire work. “I miss Idaho’s wild spirit and expansive wilderness,” she says. “I believe it has helped foster my interest in telling stories about how humans interact with the environment.”