Are you ready for your close-up?

By COURTNEY BENNETT / Community Columnist 

In the days before COVID-19 and social distancing dominated the headlines, Montevallo Main Street Design Committee volunteers Jan and John McKinnon designed and built an interactive photo spot downtown.

“The Main Street Design Committee was looking for interactive activities that would engage the public and bring them to the downtown area,” Jan said. She and her husband created a free-standing frame that invites people to take a photo under Main Street’s tagline, “Make your mark on Montevallo!”

A series of decorative discs, designed and manufactured locally by The Type Shop, reflect holidays, the changing seasons, and other local favorites such as a Montevallo Bulldog, UM College Night colors, patriotic symbols and logos of upcoming art festivals.

John, a member of the Alabama Woodworking Guild, constructed the frame. “It was fun trying to design something that would be in public view. Several materials were considered based on their weight and their ability to hold up to varied weather conditions. I would like to thank the city workers for their help in locating the proper site and digging the holes for the posts holding the frame.”

They hope that the photo frame will be a spot of interest that will help people create memories in the form of pictures.

“We hope more people will come to Montevallo to walk the streets and support the local businesses,” Jan said.

The McKinnons, who have made Montevallo their home for nearly half a century, have truly made their mark with their extensive volunteer work.

Jan also lends her talents to the Centrala Garden Club, Montevallo Study Club, Montevallo Methodist Pre-School board, and American Village. She taught kindergarten at Montevallo Elementary School for 27 years and is an Alabama Master Gardener.

John is a charter member of the Montevallo Civitan Club, Chairman for the Montevallo Arbor and Beautification Commission and a trustee at Montevallo First United Methodist Church.

Together, they are members of Montevallo Historical Society, as well as poll workers.

The photo frame is another example of citizens coming together to make their community a more beautiful, fun and vibrant place.

Although some businesses are temporarily closed to slow the spread of COVID-19, most are still open and providing curbside pick-up. Whether you live in Montevallo and are picking up essential goods, or you are planning your next visit, we invite you to stop by and snap a photo.