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

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.


Pat Thomas, Mixed Media 
Pat Thomas, Black and White Photograph 
Photo by Jay Fleming

H.C. Porter

Artist-in-Residence Alumni