2023 Foto forum santa fe 2nd place award winner
Matthew Hayes graduated with a degree in photojournalism from the University of Montana in 2004. Since, he has worked for a variety of editorial, commercial and private clientele while also exhibiting in galleries and museums. He currently lives in Montana, and is available for assignment or commission.
Billings sits on the north bank of the Yellowstone River in South Central Montana as it flows east through the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. Hundreds of years ago, Native American tribes such as the Crow, Blackfeet, and Lakota Sioux inhabited this region while fighting for dominance over its natural resources. Remnants of that culture are still prominent today and leave a rich history with the Crow Reservation just east of the city. Now, it is a blue-collar town driven by railroad and oil industries. Coal trains routinely move through the city and oil refineries speckle the horizon as ranchers work the surrounding landscape. This series is about the mood, characters and moments that define a specific undercurrent of life running through this enclave of Montana. Locals call it the "Magic City", a nickname that perfectly personifies a peculiar energy that is here today, galvanized by a unique mixture of Native and Western Culture often caught between past and future generations.