The Changing Landscape of a Small Town

  • Beatriz Bencosme

  • The Changing Landscape of a Small Town

  • A native of the Hudson Valley, Beatriz Bencosme majored in photography with a minor in fashion studies at Parsons. Her work, which is shot mainly in digital format, combines her love of nature, fashion, and portraiture into one medium. Her work revolves around the ways in which we interact with our environments and how we react to changes constantly happening around us. The desire to travel and experience life-changing events drive her work, and with this Beatriz aims to evoke a sense of wanderlust in her art that she feels in everyday life.

  • Focusing on themes of nostalgia and the fear of what we cannot understand, The Changing Landscape of a Small Town, focuses on the ways in which my hometown, Monroe New York, has responded to its every shifting landscape and population growth. Working in digital format, I begin with the premium outlet, Woodbury Commons, which used to be a part of my everyday scenery. Woodbury Commons has become a major tourist attraction and it has caused some of the largest changes in Monroe, such as the building of a new major highway. In addition to this new highway, there has been a growth in population of the Hasidic community in Monroe. Houses are being built and roadways are changing, as it would for any community to a new town. However, people are afraid of what they cannot understand, and the locals have spoken out against the building of new Hasidic homes. Through this process I have noticed how I have always felt trapped in Monroe and as if I did not belong there, while everyone around me was content. Even now as I am graduating college, I am noticing that those I went to high school with who said they would never come back to Monroe, are because they miss being here. For myself however, I always found myself torn between wanting to stay in Monroe and yearning to go back to Manhattan.