Suffolk LOVES The ARTS! LOVEworks STORY
The new ‘Suffolk LOVES the Arts’ L-O-V-E letters are currently ON VIEW inside the Suffolk Center
… as they are prepared for permanent installation outside.
Admission is FREE.
On Saturday, November 23, 2019 the Suffolk Center for Cultural Arts unveiled a life-sized LOVE artwork entitled ‘SUFFOLK LOVES THE ARTS‘. Suffolk Mayor Linda Johnson, Suffolk Tourism, Students, Teachers, honored guests, and ‘Bella Voce’, Nansemond River High School’s Elite Women’s Choir, welcomed Virginia‘s newest LOVE sculpture with a special ribbon cutting at the Suffolk Center, outside, by the Suffolk Center’s fountain.
Created as part of a state and local partnership to promote travel and tourism, the artwork is an extension of the iconic “Virginia is for Lovers” brand, which in 2019 is celebrating 50 years since its inception. Suffolk Mayor Linda Johnson noted,
“While we proudly acknowledge that “Virginia is for Lovers”, it’s a slogan that we’ve taken ‘to heart’ here in Suffolk. As Virginia’s largest City, there’s so much to love about the people, places, and things that make us special. These new LOVE letters will only add to the charm and unique character of our Historic Downtown.”
Respecting the Suffolk Center’s rich history as Suffolk High School, a unique collaboration was created with Suffolk‘s four, area high schools to inspire a very special ”Suffolk Loves The Arts” LOVEworks. Students submitted designs for approval then, over four weeks, worked with their school’s Art Department and classmates to create and complete their vision. Each LOVE Letter stands 6 feet tall and is over 3 feet wide!
- Kings Fork High School ~ “L”, Designed by student: Leiloni Wooley
- Lakeland High School ~ “O”, Designed by students: Emily Owens & Jordan Clark
- Nansemond River High School ~ “V”, Designed by student: Cross Waldo
- Nansemond-Suffolk Academy, Upper School ~ “E”, Designed by student: Brainna Barnes
“Having our Suffolk students be involved in an artistic endeavor that goes beyond the scope of their school and has a permanent impact on the greater community is a goal of all arts educators. Our students are becoming a part of the greater whole of cultural community that impacts the Commonwealth of Virginia and especially their own community of Suffolk. Artists are the reflectors of life, and thusly life reflects arts – these students are leaving an impact of LOVE on the Suffolk community,” shared Joleen Neighbours, PHD., Fine Arts Facilitator, Suffolk Public Schools.
The new “Suffolk Loves The Arts” LOVEwork is one of more than 190 giant LOVE letters in towns and cities across the Commonwealth. “Virginia is for Lovers is about doing the things you love to do on vacation with the people you love most,” said Rita McClenny, president and CEO of the Virginia Tourism Corporation.
“The “Suffolk Loves The Arts” LOVEwork captures that idea perfectly, and gives you an authentic sense of place as it showcases Suffolk’s rich history, scenic waterways, and love of the Arts. We are excited that the Suffolk Center for Cultural Arts will help us share the LOVE with travelers, helping them to discover for themselves why Virginia is for Lovers.”
“The Suffolk Center’s new LOVE Letters will be a wonderful addition to the city and provide a unique backdrop for photos,’ added Theresa Earles, Tourism Development Manager, Suffolk Tourism. ‘As localities across Virginia work to create their own version of the Virginia Tourism Corporation’s LOVE Letters, the Suffolk Center’s display will be the first permanent installation of its kind in Suffolk. We hope that their creativity and community outreach will inspire other organizations to highlight what they love about our city.”
Visitors to the “Suffolk Loves The Arts” LOVEwork are encouraged to take pictures with it and share them on Facebook at Facebook.com/VirginiaisforLovers and on Instagram and Twitter, using the hashtag #LOVEVA and destination hashtag (if applicable). A full list of LOVEworks can be found at virginia.org/LOVE. Tourism is an instant revenue generator for Virginia. In 2018, tourism generated $26 billion in revenue, supported 234,000 jobs and provided $1.8 billion in state and local taxes for the Commonwealth. Images of LOVEworks from around the Commonwealth can be requested at pressroom.virginia.org, the official pressroom of the Virginia Tourism Corporation.