Melody Golding | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

Melody Golding

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The Smithsonian Institute has selected Melody Golding's photos of the devastation left behind in Mississippi post-Hurricane Katrina for their permanent archives.

The Smithsonian Institute in Washingon, D.C., has selected Vicksburg photographer Melody Golding's photo collection "Katrina: Mississippi Women Remember," to add to the Smithsonian Archives Center this month. Golding's work is the institute's only acquisition documenting the effects of Hurricane Katrina on Mississippi.

Golding's Katrina photographs first caught the attention of the Royal Photographic Society in London, England. In October 2005, the society featured her images in their Awards Journal, which conveyed the story of the storm internationally. In June 2006, "Katrina: Mississippi Women Remember" became the first exhibit about Hurricane Katrina displayed on the Mississippi Gulf Coast at the just-reopened Walter Anderson Museum of Art in Ocean Springs. Since then, the show has traveled to the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington D.C., and regionally to more than a dozen sites. Golding's work has been on display at colleges and universities, including Mississippi College, Mississippi State University and the University of Mississippi, and has been used as an educational resource to explore art, gender studies, sociology, meteorology and history.

"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," said David Haberstich, curator of photography for the Smithsonian's Archives Center, in a statement. "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."

Golding's photographs, interviews, and research are also compiled in a book, published by the University Press of Mississippi, also entitled "Katrina: Mississippi Women Remember." Her work on the project has been supported in part by the Mississippi Humanities Council. All proceeds from the sales of the book go directly back to the Coast's ongoing recovery.

Golding has several upcoming exhibitions, and in 2010 the University Press will publish another collection of her photographs and essays. For additional information visit the artist's Web site.

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