“Love” signs were an outgrowth of the successful tourism campaign slogan: “Virginia is For Lovers.”
Photo by Susan Laume/The Connection
After an eleven-stop tour around Fairfax County in 2019, the “LOVE” sign now has a permanent home at the Workhouse Arts Center’s courtyard in Lorton. Appropriately unveiled on Valentine’s Day, the sign will remain a fixture at the Workhouse and is expected to attract many visitors to the art campus.
One of 200 “LOVE” signs located throughout the Commonwealth, Lorton’s sign was given a special “bedazzlement” by Woodbridge artist Marty McFly. McFly is a cartoonist and pop art creator. His embellishments, a collage of facial expressions, add bright color to the work, representing the emotion.
“Love” signs were an outgrowth of the very successful tourism campaign slogan: “Virginia is For Lovers.” It was heralded as one of the “most well-recognized and often imitated campaigns…” by “Advertising Age.” Celebrating its 50 year anniversary, the slogan first appeared in the March 1969 issue of “Modern Bride” magazine. “Forbes'' named it “one of the top 10 tourism marketing campaigns of all times.” The slogan is included on the advertising walk of fame in New York City.
Barry Biggar, “Visit Fairfax” President and CEO, speaking at the ceremony, said the signs have generated hundreds of thousands of photographs and brought much attention to Virginia. Biggar added that the marketing campaign is credited with helping create Fairfax County’s $3 Billion tourism industry. The “Love” signs highlight some of the best areas of the county’s tourism assets and help support 31,000 local jobs.
Mount Vernon District Supervisor, Dan Storck, on hand for the unveiling, welcomed the piece as a means to attract more people to the Workhouse Art Center, “this heart of artistry.” He added, “public art is an essential part of how we communicate with each other.”
The Workhouse Arts Center is a nonprofit collaboration of visual and performing arts space and exhibitions, with art education. Located at 9518 Workhouse Way, Lorton; open 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday-Saturday, Noon to 6 p.m. on Sunday.