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Monticello Road is a community arts project in Charlottesville, Virginia. Through photography and a series of public events and conversations, we explore how an art can be an essential, integral and everyday part of a healthy community.


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Friday, June 24, 2011

The People of Monticello Road: Lawrence and Sophie

Lawrence and Sophie arrived at our block party with a big trey of food. I photographed them there.

I first met them while they were taking a walk and I was planting a willow tree—in my back yard. Belmont is crisscrossed with unpaved two-track alleys between lots. Some of them are more picturesque than others but they’re all peaceful and they present a different view than what you get on the main streets. They’re great for over-the-fence chats.

It makes perfect sense that I would meet those two in such a place. Lawrence is an amateur photographer, a keen observer, and very engaging. He speaks to the people he meets and he knows about some hidden gems around the neighborhood. It’s an active process for him. Companion Sophie is friendly and equally curious.

With an explorer’s mentality and an apartment in the heart of Monticello Road, Lawrence has quickly become a terrific resource for information, feedback, and conversation. He’s gracious and an eternal learner. That’s what this whole thing is about: bringing people together, sharing and learning about and from one another.

My willow started to seem a little scraggly for a while when it got dry but Lawrence reassured me the other day that it is doing well. I think he’s right.


The People of Monticello Road is a weekly series of profiles that will run through the summer. Monticello Road is a photography and story-telling project about the people and places along a mile-long byway that is simultaneously humble and historic, home to many and a reflection of us all. There will be an exhibition and much more in the Spring of 2012.

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