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, February 10, 2012

The People of Monticello Road: Sonny at Lazy Daisy

At Lazy Daisy, customers decorate ceramic objects, which are then glazed and high-fired. Birthday parties are a big part of their business.

On the day we received the keys to our house, I went for a walk around the neighborhood and I soon came across Lazy Daisy Ceramics shop. I knew right then that we had made a good choice. Years later, as I re-explored in greater depth for my project, Lazy Daisy was one of my first stops. With a name like that, they must be friendly, right?

It turns out that they’re some of the nicest people around. During that first visit, more than a year ago, I was brave enough to ask to photograph the shop and its wares—which they enthusiastically permitted—but I did not ask the owners and customers if I could do their portraits—which is what I really wanted. They have many beautiful things there and I got some pretty good pictures. Since that time, the project has changed and I acquired the boldness that was lacking before. It was time to go back.

I scheduled a visit with the manager (her name is Tara) but she advised me to come at a time when her parents would be around. The next day, I was hanging out with Sonny Mawyer, the establishment’s long-time proprietor and a gold mine of neighborhood lore.

Sonny has seen a lot along Monticello Road these past 35+ years and he knows something about pretty much every property along the way—and many of the people as well. When I mentioned to my neighbor (the one with a broom from the Blind Shop) that Sonny would be at our April 15 story-sharing event, that sealed the deal for her—she would go too.

It’s really no wonder Sonny and his wife Novella have such a beloved reputation. They're friendly and generous and they run a business that helps children make beautiful things on their birthdays. What a perfect way to follow my visit to Spudnuts: another locally-owned business, run by family members who are very invested in their community and who sell small embodiments of love.

It will be very interesting to hear some of the stories Sonny has to share—he told me quite a few during the hour I spent with him. He said he would bring his friends and it looks like they will be many of both—stories and friends.

Lazy Daisy is located at 1709 Monticello Road, Charlottesville VA.

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.
More Profiles | Project Description | More Photos: Places | People | Photo Booth I | Photo Booth II

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