H.C. Porter | Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts

H.C. Porter

Studio Number: 







H.C. Porter, Pat Thomas, Mixed Media (left) and Black and White Photograph (right)

My work has emotional conviction and represents Southern experience that often evokes
strong responses. My paintings are successful when the viewer completes the piece with a
response...give yourself the freedom to weep with those who weep and rejoice with those who
rejoice and you will complete my work.

H.C. Porter is an award-winning artist, whose original works of art are classified as mixedmedia
because they incorporate her photography, printmaking and painting. They begin as
black and white “environmental portraits” and are transferred onto paper with black ink
using a silkscreen. Each piece is created using acrylic paint and Prismacolor pencil.
Porter’s style began in 1992 with “Avenue for Art,” a grant-funded neighborhood art
project for children. Porter eventually incorporated the neighborhood children into
her work. Since, she has applied her style to other areas of the state, documenting the
lives of fellow Mississippians. In September 2005, two weeks after Hurricane Katrina
hit the Mississippi Gulf Coast, Porter’s attention turned toward the people of her
home state living in the aftermath of that devastating storm.

For the entire year after Katrina, Porter took more than 9,000 photographs of people
along the Mississippi Gulf Coast, while collaborator Karole Sessums collected audio
recordings from the people in the photos. Using her unique process, Porter created
81original mixed media paintings. The paintings and coinciding audio were combined to
build the nationally traveling exhibition, Backyards & Beyond: Mississippians and Their
Stories — the first year after Katrina.

The exhibition, a powerful merger of art, history and humanity, traveled for two years,
raising awareness of the hope, faith and love that remained after Katrina. Porter’s first
book, “Backyards & Beyond: Mississippians and Their Stories,” is the companion piece
to the exhibit. The book features images of the 81 paintings and excerpts of audio
collected from the painting subjects.

In December 2010 Porter set out to document Mississippi’s living blues legends
through Blues @ Home, a collection of 31 paintings and coinciding oral histories. The
multimedia traveling exhibition tells Mississippi’s blues story in a unique way and brings
awareness to the blues in Mississippi. Blues @ Home opened April 2014 and was on
exhibition for four months at the University Museum on the campus of the University
of Mississippi in Oxford. It traveled to the Mississippi Delta, August 21, 2014, to the
B.B. King Museum in Indianola, Mississippi, the National Blues Museum in St. Louis
Missouri on April 2, 2016 and Maryland Hall in Annapolis, MD Jan-Feb 2018.