Backyards & Beyond: Mississippians and Their Stories

About this Project

In response to Hurricane Katrina, she spent much of 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 shifted to documenting the amazing strength, resiliency, and hope of Mississippians as they reclaimed their lives following the 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 travelled to Museums, Art Centers, and Cities throughout the South and the Nation for years. This exhibition is a long-term reminder of how the people of our state have experienced and endured this country’s greatest natural disaster. The opportunity to show the rest of the 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and love for this state recorded throughout her documentary, both visually and audibly, has transformed the often held, outdated stereotype of this great state forever.

“H.C. Porter and ‘Backyards & Beyond’ speak volumes about the character and grace of the magnificent people of our state.”

Marsha Barbour, Former First Lady of Mississippi

Find the Backyards & Beyond books and posters here.