Project Overview

Nationally-known Mississippi Artist, H.C. Porter, has just completed an extensive documentary project called BACKYARDS AND BEYOND: Mississippians and Their Stories. A social realist, she has focused her life’s work for the past 15 years on documenting Mississippians through her distinctive mixed media “environmental portrait” paintings.

In response to Hurricane Katrina, she spent much her time from September 2005 until August 2006 on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Encouraged by her collectors nationwide and a personal desire to use her life’s work to narrate the historical rebuilding, her focus has now shifted to documenting the amazing strength, resiliency, and hope of Mississippians as they reclaim their lives following this incalculable disaster. Although her work has previously focused on Mississippi’s black communities, this project includes images of all Mississippians, both Black and White, Vietnamese and Hispanic.

This exhibition of 81 paintings will travel to Museums, Art Centers, and Cities throughout the South and the Nation for years to come. This exhibition is a long-term reminder of how the people of our state have experienced and endured this country’s greatest natural disaster. (A portion of the net proceeds from various components of the Exhibition (book & print sales, exhibition fees, etc) will be earmarked for a special fund set up to help rebuild lives and communities in Mississippi.)

H.C. Porter’s powerful images of the Human Spirit, paired with audio recordings of those represented in the paintings, will keep the awareness and needs of our state alive for as many years as this Exhibit is presented. The opportunity to show the rest of this country and the world who we are as Mississippians is monumental. The unity, diversity, resiliency, and love for this state recorded throughout her documentary, both visually and audibly, is certain to transform the often held, outdated stereotype of this great state forever.

Information on Individual and Corporate Sponsorships of Exhibition paintings is available via this website.

More information on Corporate Sponsorships and Booking Inquiries for this Exhibition is available at www.backyardsandbeyond.org.

For additional information or to receive printed materials please contact Backyards and Beyond staff at info@backyardsandbeyond.org or (601) 661-9444.


“Amazingly, my time on the Coast has revealed that many people throughout the United States have no idea that Mississippi was affected by Hurricane Katrina,” states H.C. Porter, “much less that our entire Coastline has been annihilated. People’s lives have been altered for generations. This is not the Great Depression or The Dust Bowl Days, but it is Hurricane Katrina, a part of our nation’s history that unfortunately landed head strong into every single Coastal community of Mississippi. I am simply a vessel through which the story is being conveyed. It is about the faces and emotions and words of those I am documenting. This Exhibition will be their stories …our story … Backyards and Beyond … a story that must be told for a very long time.”
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