Michael Kolster was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and he has lived in Rochester, New York, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Boston, Massachusetts, and San Francisco, California. He earned his B.A. in American Studies from Williams College, his 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 City. Currently, he is an associate professor of art at Bowdoin College, where, in 2008, he received the Sydney B. Karofsky Prize for Junior Faculty in recognition of his teaching.
His photographs have appeared in solo exhibitions at The American University of Paris, Schroeder Romero and Shredder Gallery in New York City, Page Bond Gallery in Richmond, Virginia, Gallery 263 in Cambridge, Massachusetts, PhoPa Gallery, Space Gallery, and the University of Southern Maine in Portland, Maine, SRO Gallery at the Texas Tech School of Art in Lubbock, Texas, Gallery 621 in Tallahassee, Florida, the Bowdoin College Museum of Art in Brunswick, Maine, and the College of Southern Maryland in La Plata. Loupe, the Journal of the Photographic Resource Center at Boston University and Memorious published portfolios of his river photographs.
An earlier project, entitled Changing Places, was similarly concerned with land-use policy and its implications, as depicted in Las Vegas, San Francisco, and New Orleans during a ten-year time span. In 2009, a portfolio from Changing Places was acquired for the permanent collection of the George Eastman House International Museum of Photography in Rochester, New York. Work from the same series was featured in Consilience— The Journal of Sustainability, published through Columbia University. In 2013, Kolster was awarded a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship in Photography. Take Me to the River, a 240-page monograph of four American East Coast rivers, was published by George F. Thompson in late 2016.
Michael lives in Brunswick, Maine, with his wife, Christy Shake, son, Calvin, and Nellie, their goldendoodle.
Image credit: © Michael Kolster – Swimmers, Swinging Bridge, Topsham, Maine, Androscoggin River, 2012, 8” x 10” ambrotype