Ground Zero Museum to reopen on Katrina anniversary

Ground Zero Museum to reopen on Katrina anniversary

WAVELAND, MS (WLOX) - When Waveland's Ground Zero Museum reopens on the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina next week, it will feature a new, exciting and interactive art exhibit. It's the work of Jackson artist H.C. Porter. We have a sneak preview of what visitors can expect.

An entire room at the Ground Zero Museum is being dedicated to an art project called "Backyards and Beyond." The artist behind the artwork spent Wednesday setting up the display.

"This exhibition is a powerful and moving merger of art, history and humanity," said Porter.

Porter came to the Coast in the days following Katrina and captured the untold stories on canvas of everyday people who overnight found themselves in a battle to rebuild their lives.

She painted 81 pictures total.  Most were sold to people all across the nation.

"The art show is poised to really be a voice, an ambassador for Mississippians all across the Gulf Coast. This is an opportunity to be inspiring, not really to look back on what we went through emotionally and have to experience that again," said Porter. "It's about the hope and the love and the focus of determination that we used to get through a really indescribable event."

The paintings will speak to visitors through audio recordings.

"You have access to the oral histories that were collected at the time so you hear the voices, not just more storm stories, but relaying who we are as Mississippians," explained Porter.

Museum guests can also experience what it was like to be left with just a concrete slab through life size floor tiles.

These four by eight foot floor tiles were created by snap shots and will be ready for visitors to walk on when the doors to the museum reopen.

"You will get the opportunity to stand on them and experience that emotion," said Porter.

The museum's Aug. 29 grand reopening will include a book signing with several authors who have written books about Hurricane Katrina, including former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour.

Porter's Ground Zero exhibit is being sponsored by the Mississippi Power Company.

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