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Journey Stories Exhibit Finale Features Hurricane Katrina Photographer, Local Historians PDF Print E-mail
Monday, March 08, 2010
Contact Tearanny Street, 601.266.6823   

An acclaimed Vicksburg-based author and photographer, a Hancock County historian and a Pass Christian alderman will present at the final showing of the Smithsonian Institute’s Journey Stories exhibit on the Gulf Park campus.

Melody Golding will lead a panel discussion on Hurricane Katrina and women in the fine arts today at 6:30 p.m. Golding’s photographs of the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in Mississippi have received notoriety from regional and international audiences.

Director of the Southern Miss Katrina Research Center Dr. Deanne Nuwer said these last presentations - Women in the Arts, The History of Hancock County and the History of Pass Christian - complete the Journey Stories for the Mississippi Coast

“The Smithsonian Exhibit and local journey stories have told the tale of perseverance and people's desire to understand their culture,” Nuwer said. “The exhibit and lecture series have highlighted the journeys that others have made to create what we are today historically and what we appreciate about our cultures. All of us have a journey story to tell.”

Charles Gray, the first chairman of the Bay Saint Louis Historical Commission, will give a presentation on the history of Hancock County and Rory Robin Rafferty, Jr., Pass Christian alderman, will present the history of Pass Christian Wednesday, March 10 at 6 p.m. in the Katrina Research Center.

Golding’s solo national traveling exhibition titled “Katrina: Mississippi Women Remember” has been shown at more than a dozen sites including the Walter Anderson Museum of Art in Ocean Springs; the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, D.C.; The Tunica Museum in Tunica, Miss., the Masur Maseum of Art in Monroe, La.; and the Mississippi Capitol rotunda in Jackson, Miss.

Golding’s Katrina exhibit is currently on display in the Congressional Hearing Room at the Department of Homeland Security, in Washington, D.C. and images were published in the Awards Journal of the Royal Photographic Society in London.

The collection of photographs, film and documentary pieces are all-encompassing, captivating images of place, coastal landscape and landmarks and represents people from all walks of life: all ages, genders, races and backgrounds. In June 2009, this collection will be added to the Smithsonian’s Archives Center collection making it the only Smithsonian acquisition documenting Hurricane Katrina in Mississippi.

"It has been a huge honor for my work to tell Mississippi's story after Hurricane Katrina on an international, national and regional level,” Golding said.  “I hope that this story of the strength and resilience of those impacted by the storm will be told forever now that it is in the Smithsonian Institution.  I wanted to help after the storm and found the best way that I could was through my art."

Golding and David Haberstich, curator of photography for the Smithsonian’s Archives Center, met in November 2008 while her collection was on display at Mississippi College. Haberstich was so moved by the powerful images that he initiated a formal acquisition request to the Museum’s Collection Committee.

“Ever since Ms. Golding offered her Katrina project to our museum, and I [saw] her work, I have been deeply impressed by the single-minded, heroic dedication of this talented photographer,” Haberstich said. “Her photographs, as well as the interviews and research she conducted on the impact of Katrina on her state, constitute a thorough, multi-faceted project in the finest tradition of documentary photography.”

All events are free and open to the public. The Journey Stories exhibit is sponsored by the Smithsonian Institution and Mississippi Humanities Council. The exhibit will conclude March 11. Golding’s presentation is co-sponsored by Beau Rivage Casino and Resort and Rafferty’s presentation is co-sponsored by the city of Pass Christian.

For more information, contact the Southern Miss Katrina Research Center at 228.214.3423 or visit For more information on Melody Golding, visit

Melody Golding

About The University of Southern Mississippi
The University of Southern Mississippi, founded in 1910, is a comprehensive doctoral and research-extensive university fulfilling its mission of being a leading university in engaging and empowering individuals to transform lives and communities.  In a tradition of leadership for student development, Southern Miss is educating a 21st century work force providing intellectual capital, cultural enrichment and innovation to Mississippi and the world.  Southern Miss is located in Hattiesburg, Miss., with an additional campus and teaching and research sites on the Mississippi Gulf Coast; further information is found at
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