Black’s ‘Clouds’ project hangs in Porterville

Photographer Matt Black’s project The People of Clouds explores the sources and consequences of migration in the Mixteca region of southern Mexico, where rampant land erosion, deepening poverty from free trade and population loss from migration is decimating some of the western hemisphere’s oldest indigenous communities. Through photographs and documentary multimedia, this work tells the little-known story behind one of the US’s fastest growing immigrant groups.

On display at the Porterville College Art Gallery is the latest installment of this project, “After the Fall,” which tells the story of Santiago Mitlatongo, a small farm community that washed away in a slow-motion landslide last year. First published in Orion magazine, the project has also been featured online in the New York Times and the Boston Globe, exhibited at The Fresno Art Museum and featured at the Wild and Scenic Film Festival in Nevada City, California.

This exhibition will be accompanied by a CHAP sponsored multimedia presentation and film screening on Friday, Feb. 22, from 7:30-8:30 pm at the Porterville College Theater. Joining Matt will be Santiago Mitlatongo and community members who will share their first-hand observations and discuss the human impact of the disaster that befell their community.

Matt Black’s photographs explore the social landscape of contemporary rural life. His photographs routinely appear in some of the nation’s best periodicals and have been honored by some of the top prizes in photojournalism, including the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Award and the Golden Eye Award from the World Press Photo Foundation. He lives in Exeter with his wife, Melissa Martell Black, and their two children.

The show will run from Feb. 4 – Feb. 28. Gallery hours are Monday through Thursday from 12 to 2 pm and 4 to 6 pm. Matt Black’s lecture is Friday, Feb. 22, from, 7:30-8:30 pm at the Porterville College Theatre with reception immediately following (8:30 – 9:30 p.m.) at the Porterville College Art Gallery.

Parking is unrestricted during the time of the lecture and reception. For other times, contact the front desk when you arrive to visit the exhibition for a free temporary parking permit.

Please contact Matt Black at 786-5718 or Jim Entz at 791-2257 with any questions.

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