BOZEMAN REMEMBERED

August 2015

    I have only lived in Bozeman, MT for three years, but I can already detect the town's rapid growth. The box shaped duplexes encroaching on the farmland, the ducks waddling on pavement in search of wetland that once was, and the backed up traffic at Huffine and 19th all catch my eye.

    I became interested in visually documenting this growth, because of my distaste for it, but I felt that my bias would serve an injustice to the community. Instead, I sought the perspective of current longtime residents of Bozeman and Gallatin County. I interviewed each participant about their personal history, their opinions about recent growth, and most important to my concept, a place that is memorable to them from their time as a resident.

    These memorable locations became the focus of my re-photography. I uncovered historic photographs from personal and public archives and then took current photographs of the place. By comparing the two photographs, I hoped to reveal how much each person's favorite place has changed over time and if it had been affected by the area's population boom.

    What I gathered from the interviews and from my travels to each location is that, generally, growth is good. Growth yields a strong economy, cultural diversity, and simple conveniences like fresh meat from a number of grocery stores in town. Sure there are minor consequences like traffic, but for most these growing pains are easy to live with.

 

©2020 by Charles Bolte.