About this project

Even after four years of school, I can't explain Montevallo to people who've never visited. It's more than just an artsy Alabama college town- anyone who's lived here knows that this city has its own unique pull to it. There's something about it that inspires deep emotion in its residents; nobody feels ambivalent about Montevallo. Stay here long enough and it gets under your skin. Maybe that's just a side effect of small town existence; you get to know your town so intimately that it takes on a life of its own. But even then, Montevallo feels so different than any other town I've ever been to, especially here in the south. It's almost as if it exists in a realm of its own.

My time in Montevallo has come to an end. Although I'm ready to graduate and continue on, there's no denying that this place has had a large hand in making me into the person I've become. This community has taught me so much, both about the world around me and about myself. This project is personal because I want something to remember Montevallo by, something more than a cap and gown and piece of paper. I want to remember what life in Montevallo felt like. My classmates and I are going to move on and the memories are going to fade, but hopefully this series will serve as a reminder for me and other past residents who owe a part of their identity to Montevallo's influence. I also believe that this community has something special about it, and that something deserves to be documented.

So, that brings us to this project. I think the best way to document the unique spirit of Montevallo is through talking to its residents. Of course, the university is the heart and soul of this town, but there's a liveliness to it that exists even outside of the school. The essence of this place is its varied and diverse community, and it's a community that I'm proud to say I've been a part of.

Through these portraits and stories, I hope I'm able to convey a sense of what Montevallo is and how it affects people. I know that no matter how much I try, I'll still never be able to explain it to outsiders, but who knows- maybe this project will help.