Beauty and the Brains – A University of Montevallo Graduate Session

Morgan is quiet.  Except when she’s not.  She’s shy.  Except when she’s not.  Morgan isn’t truly complicated, and yet she is.  She is extremely intelligent, sweet, driven, brave and very deep….always.  We’ve known Morgan since she was in Mitchell’s (my son) 3rd grade class.  But there were a few (several) years that we lost contact.  However, she and Mitchell did stay in touch, to some degree.  She came back into our lives when she and Mitchell began dating just a little over 2 years ago.  But their relationship is for another blog, another day!  This is all about Morgan.

Several months ago, as Morgan’s time at the University of Montevallo was coming to an end, we planned a fall senior session.  We were hoping to do the session at the peak of fall color.  This stunning campus is set amongst so many beautiful hardwoods that display a spectacular show of color this time of year.  However, life happened and we had to delay a bit.  The fall color spectacular might not have been as prevalent as we had hoped for at the time of the session, but it didn’t matter one little bit, because Morgan was the star of this little show!  The combination of her rare beauty and unique sense of style made for one helluva senior session!  Who needs trees when you have this going for you (see images)????

Even though this session wasn’t just about her graduating, we cannot and will not go without a huge shoutout to her academic success in which Morgan excelled!  She received the Virginia Barnes Emerging Artist Award in 2019, Excellence in Painting Award in 2020, Senior Elite Art Award, 2020.  She made the Presidents List all but two of the 9 semester’s at UM, and made the Dean’s List 3 of those semesters.  She is now on track to graduate Magna Cum Laude with a GPA of 3.86.  Yes, she’s brains and beauty!

But 2020 is continuing to live up to it’s reputation, so she won’t be walking across a stage with all of her family and friends cheering her on.  Instead, she will across the stage to a very limited number of guests.  The rest of us will just have to cheer her on from behind the scenes. But I feel like this chapter in her life, along with other personal traumas that this year has thrown at her, will only fuel her creativity in the future.

We planned this particular day so that we could not only do the senior session, and allow her to participate in the rite of passage of “senior photos”, but we planned it so that we could visit the The Gallery at Bloch Hall, where her art exhibit, The Shadow of You, was featured!  Earlier, I mentioned that Morgan is quiet and shy, except when she’s not.  She really is quiet in the sense that she doesn’t talk a lot. She does, however, use her art to communicate so much!  When we visited her exhibit, she walked us through and explained each sculpture.  I’ve always known Morgan to be a deep and purposeful thinker, but listening to her go into detail and the thought process behind her work, the titles that she chose for the individual sculptures (The Matriarch, Father Figure, The Death of Me, Hang Me Out to Dry and The Web We Weave) was an awakening of sorts.  I’m not going to go into the entire explanation of the work that you’ll see in the images.  I definitely would not be able to convey the message or the meaning behind it as intended.  But I will say that I believe that she is well on her way to finding her place in this world.  I believe that art, in any form, is the perfect channel to convey feelings, thoughts, emotions, beliefs and more.  And those that choose to share their art with the world are in a sense opening themselves up to the world.  Therefore, Morgan is one of the bravest girls I know.  Throw in the fact that she is an only girl among 5 brothers, yeah, definitely, the bravest girl I know!

Congratulations, Morgan, for everything that you have achieved in your young life!  We enjoyed every minute of this day with you!  We thank you for allowing us to document this particular chapter in your life and we look forward to documenting more milestones!

Love, Katie & Cindy