LOVEworks Harrisonburg public artwork to be unveiled Saturday

For Immediate Release:  
April 8, 2013

Media Contacts:
Nicole Martorana
Artist, LOVEworks Harrisonburg
Promotions Manager, Harrisonburg Downtown Renaissance
nicole.martorana@harrisonburgva.gov | (540) 432-8909

Brenda Black
Director of Tourism, Harrisonburg Tourism & Visitor Services
brenda.black@harrisonburgva.gov | (540) 432-8935

Richard Lewis
Public Relations, Virginia Tourism Corporation
rlewis@virginia.org | (804) 545-5500

 LOVEworks Harrisonburg public artwork to be unveiled Saturday
-Harrisonburg is one of 11 sites chosen as part of Virginia is for Lovers social media marketing campaign-

(HARRISONBURG, VA) The much-anticipated LOVEworks Harrisonburg public artwork will be unveiled at a public ceremony this Saturday, April 13. The artwork is part of a larger campaign where love is set to pop up all over Virginia in many different and unexpected places as part of a new effort by the state tourism office. The campaign is focused around sharing the message that love is at the heart of every Virginia vacation.  Visitors to downtown Harrisonburg will be in luck as Harrisonburg is one of only 11 destinations across the state chosen by the Virginia Tourism Corporation (VTC) to create a giant LOVE artwork to bring more travelers to Virginia.

The unveiling ceremony will take place at 11:00 am this Saturday, April 13 at the installation site of the artwork in the grassy lot behind the Arts Council of the Valley office, facing the Municipal Parking Lot and the Turner Pavilion in downtown Harrisonburg. The ceremony will feature a ribbon-cutting with the artists – Nicole Martorana, Jeff Guinn, and Mike Herr – as well as representatives from the Virginia Tourism Corporation, Harrisonburg Tourism, Harrisonburg Downtown Renaissance, Arts Council of the Valley, city officials, community partners, and local supporters.

“It was fun to work on a project for downtown Harrisonburg, a place I grew up going to and riding my bike around,” reflects LOVEworks artist Mike Herr. “I also enjoyed collaborating on a personal level with businesses I encounter regularly for my day job with Herr and Company.”

LOVEworks began as a statewide campaign by the Virginia Tourism Corporation last summer, where a 16-by-6-feet Virginia is for Lovers LOVE artwork made stops at Virginia Welcome Centers, attractions, and localities throughout Virginia. It became a favorite photo opportunity for visitors as well as local residents. Photos taken by people from across the country can be seen at www.Facebook.com/VirginiaisforLovers and on Twitter by searching #LOVEVA.

In November 2012, Virginia Tourism Corporation announced a new program to reimburse localities and tourism destinations that created a local LOVE artwork to promote the best attributes of the destination as part of the Virginia is for Lovers campaign. Each artwork will become an instant photo opportunity where visitors will travel to take a picture and share with loved ones on social media. Harrisonburg was one of just 11 destinations statewide chosen to create a LOVE artwork and participate in this statewide program.  Harrisonburg will join sites including Virginia Welcome Centers, Kiptopeke State Park, Veritas Vineyards, Heartwood, and Cardinal Point Winery as places where LOVE has popped up in Virginia.

LOVEworks Harrisonburg seeks to expand upon this mission by providing an educational public artwork that serves as an aesthetic contribution and community gathering place. Each letter represents one of four focus areas representative of the Harrisonburg-Rockingham community – ethnic diversity, agriculture, outdoor recreation, and the arts. It is constructed of locally sourced and re-purposed materials.

“The LOVEworks project has been a great opportunity for the community to participate in a piece of public art that represents Harrisonburg as a unique and wonderful place to live,” says LOVEworks artist Jeff Guinn. “I have been immensely impressed by all the time, energy, and resources that residents have contributed, and I think that the piece is a testament to what can be accomplished when people from many different parts of the community are working together. It has been my pleasure to participate in this project as an artist and I hope that both residents of Harrisonburg and visitors will enjoy what has been created.”

Visitors and residents alike are encouraged to connect with LOVEworks Harrisonburg at www.Facebook.com/LOVEworks.Harrisonburg and www.twitter.com/LOVEworksHburg. They can connect with the statewide campaign at www.Facebook.com/VirginiaisforLovers or on Twitter with the hashtag #LOVEVA.  A complete list of LOVE artwork locations across the state can be found at www.Virginia.org/LOVE.

“It has been an incredibly rewarding experience collaborating with Jeff and Mike to design and create this public artwork for a community we love and in which we have grown up and spent so much of our lives,” says LOVEworks artist Nicole Martorana. “The enthusiastic support of local businesses and community members and their generous contributions have demonstrated just what a wonderful place Harrisonburg is. I hope many will be able to enjoy this artwork for years to come!”

Love is at the heart of every Virginia vacation. Visit www.Virginia.org to learn more or call 1-800-VISITVA to request a free “Virginia is for Lovers” travel guide.

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Note to media: Images of the Virginia is for Lovers LOVE artwork are available for publication at www.vatravelstories.com, the official pressroom of the Virginia Tourism Corporation.

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