Michael Kolster: A River Lost and Found: The Androscoggin River in Time and Place

On Thursday, January 19th at 6:30 pm, the public is invited to a presentation on a photography project by Michael Kolster of Brunswick entitled “ A River Lost and Found: The Androscoggin River in Time and Place”. The presentation will take place at the Harlow Gallery at 160 Water Street in Hallowell.  Kolster’s work explores how we perceive, depict, and come to understand the changing nature of riverways as they recover from a century of industrial pollution.  Kolster is a photographer who lives in Brunswick and teaches at Bowdoin College. He utilizes various photographic techniques and tools including antebellum wet-plate collodion process, B & W film negatives and digitial processes. This event is being presented by the Maine Traditional Film Photographers Group, which meets monthly at the Harlow Gallery.  Donations in support of programs at the Harlow Gallery accepted at the door.
For more information about the presentation or about the group, email Cindy Rehagen Langewisch at  cirehlan@gmail.com.

“A River Lost and Found: The Androscoggin River in Time and Place”
Photographs by Michael Kolster, writings by Matthew Klingle, and oral histories recorded in collaboration. Previously labeled as one of nation’s most polluted rivers, the Androscoggin River has slowly, if  incompletely, recovered over time.  Yet the river that allegedly inspired the 1972 Clean Water Act remains veiled in stereotype and ignored by thousands who live along it.  “A River Lost and Found”  explores the hidden past and neglected present of this important New England waterway in a  collaborative project combining photography, oral history, archival research, and creative non-fiction  writing.  We ask how an injured river might reveal an ethic of place that embraces the complexities  of human and natural history together.  Our answers suggest how Americans can embrace the  middle ground between the pristine and the ruined typical of the places many call home.“A River Lost and Found:  The Androscoggin River in Time and Place” anticipates the 40th  anniversary of the Clean Water Act in 2012, and draws attention to the current transformation of  America’s rivers at this important juncture.  

Michael Kolster is a photographer living in Maine and teaching at Bowdoin College.  He is  currently producing a series of photographs that explore how we perceive, depict, and  come to understand the changing nature of riverways as they recover from a century of  industrial pollution.  
An earlier project of Kolster’s similarly concerned with land use policy and its implications,  entitled Changing Places (http://www.bowdoin.edu/~mkolster/indexweb/changingplaces.htm), depicted  changes in Las Vegas, San Francisco and New Orleans over a 10-year time span.  A 23- image portfolio from Changing Places was recently acquired for the permanent collection of  the George Eastman House International Museum of Photography in Rochester, NY.   Work from the same series was featured in Consilience – The Journal of Sustainability,  published through Columbia University.  
For almost ten years Michael has maintained a website, The Daily Post, to which he posts a  photograph each day (http://DailyPost.bowdoin.edu).   Kolster holds a B.A. in American Studies from Williams College, an M.F.A. from the
 Massachusetts College of Art and a certificate from the full-time Documentary Photography  program at the International Center of Photography in New York.
Matthew Klingle is associate professor of history and environmental studies at Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine. Klingle’s current research projects include: “Sweet Blood: History and the Nature of Diabetes and Chronic Disease in America,” which analyzes the environmental and social history of the diabetes outbreak from its antecedents in the mid-nineteenth century to the present; and “A River Lost and Found,” a collaborative project with Michael Kolster (associate professor of art, Bowdoin College) exploring the changing nature of Maine’s Androscoggin River as it recovers from a century of industrial pollution.