Longwood alumnus Monty Montgomery ’98 is making his colorful mark on his alma mater and Farmville in a big way.
Montgomery, an artist based in San Diego, recently completed a mural in Bedford Hall, the building where he spent much of his Longwood career. He is now spending two weeks painting a mural on a downtown Farmville warehouse, commissioned by the Farmville Downtown group.
"I’m so happy to be back in Farmville," said Montgomery. "This town is like home to me—I spent four years here while I was at Longwood, and the opportunity to come back and share my energy with people who inspired my career is a dream come true."
The first floor mural in Bedford Hall is his largest solo mural: 45 feet wide and 13 feet high. "This mural represents Longwood to me—how I feel when I’m there, my years of happiness, all of the people there," said Montgomery. The artwork features the bright colors, black lines and geometric abstract designs that characterize his work.
That same design aesthetic is echoed on the wall of a storage warehouse owned by Farmville Presbyterian Church that overlooks the farmers market parking lot. Montgomery expects to have the triptych finished by late July. "I want this to echo stained glass windows—bright panels that bring some life to this brick wall. It also brings my energy to the town where I really grew as a person and an artist," he said.
Randy Edmonson, professor of art, was instrumental in bringing Montgomery back to campus for the Bedford mural. Edmonson was Montgomery’s first painting instructor, and they have kept in touch through the years.
"Monty is one of our success stories," said Edmonson. "Ever since leaving Longwood, he has made his living on his visual creativity as a designer and painter, which is difficult. What sets him apart is his work ethic—he is focused and dedicated—and he also is enthusiastic and has a great attitude. I’m proud of Monty as an artist and as a human being. He’s a really decent person who has been able to go through life riding the crest of a wave of happiness and hard work."
Many of Montgomery’s murals are done in a partnership called Kreashun with fellow artist Jason Feather. They often work in front of spectators under a time limit, which Montgomery describes as "live entertainment." While the Farmville mural is more low-key, Montgomery still has material about his art sitting on a table by his workstation and will gladly talk to spectators who stop by.
"Longwood and Farmville are a big part of me," said Montgomery. "It’s my home, it’s where I began my career." That home now bears Montgomery’s vibrant stamp.