Gallatin Valley Photo Exhibit
“Shaping the Future of our Valley: Picturing our Place”
Try to capture — in one photo — what you treasure most in the Gallatin Valley.
That is what dozens of amateur photographers strived to do as part of the Gallatin Grassroots Forum photo contest “Shaping the Future of our Valley: Picturing our Place”. Over 200 images captured the vistas and open spaces, the community and backyards, family and favorite pastimes of the people of Gallatin Valley. But they represented more than pretty pictures; the photos, and the contest, served to illustrate the values of Gallatin County residents. Truly, we have a unique sense of place here in the Gallatin Valley.
The contest was judged by Mayors Gene Townshend of Three Forks, Tony Haag of Manhattan, Russ Nelson of Belgrade, Kaaren Jacobsen of Bozeman, and Gallatin County Commissioner Bill Murdoch. These elected officials reviewed the images in the categories of “People and Community” and “Landscape and Wildlife”, choosing the top 4 photos in each category, and then finally deciding upon an overall Grand Prize Winner.
All the images – including the prize winners – were displayed at a public exhibition at the Museum of the Rockies on March 26th. Citizens from all over the Valley viewed the photos, enjoyed delicious catered food, and spent time socializing with their friends and neighbors. In addition to the over 100 Gallatin Valley attendants, the exhibition had some special visitors, Senator Jon Tester and his staff.
Following the exhibition, Gallatin Grassroots Forum held an evening presentation of the contest winners. The event’s special speaker was world-renowned, Bozeman-based adventure photographer Gordon Wiltsie. Gordon entertained the crowd with a slide show of his photos from around the world, and spoke of the theme that informs his work: the power of photography to evoke a sense of place, whether that place is Mongolia or the Gallatin Valley. Gordon also commented on each winning photo as they were announced.
The winning photographers were awarded prizes from businesses throughout the Gallatin Valley. Their photographs will be displayed in an exhibition that will travel to locations throughout the Valley, starting at First Security Bank in Bozeman, then Schnee's Boots & Shoes in Bozeman and the county libraries. Please, stop by these locations and check out the wonderful photographs in person.