Virginia’s Ten Coolest LOVEworks Signs

Have you spotted giant LOVE signs across the Commonwealth? We’ve found some of the coolest, because Virginia is for lovers, after all!

Virginia LOVEworks signs aren’t just strewn all over the state for art’s sake! They’re actually part of a statewide program designed to promote travel throughout the Commonwealth, as well as build awareness around the slogan “Virginia is for Lovers.” This slogan has actually been the state slogan for 50 years.

You may have seen the signs at various visitor centers around the state, and in 2013 the Virginia Tourism Corporation created a LOVEwork Refund Program. With 16 LOVEworks signs created in the program’s first year, it became a success, with over 300 LOVEworks signs built throughout Virginia since then.

We’ve picked 10 of the coolest LOVEworks signs, which hasn’t been an easy task, but we’ve organized these 10 favorites by location in alphabetical order.

Bedford

LOVEwork at Peaks of Otter Winery
Nestled at the base of the Peaks of Otter mountain range, across from the family’s warehouse/sales room and surrounded by apple and peach orchards, is Peaks of Otter Winery LOVEwork. A creative design by local artists and orchard staff depicting the elements of this 6th generation family farm.

You might recognize the Peaks of Otter Winery at Johnson’s Orchard from our apple picking pole, but we appreciate how they decorated the giant apple for fall. It’s fun and festive.

Photo credit: Lovicaire on Instagram

Chesapeake

LOVEwork in Chesapeake
The central theme of Chesapeake LOVEwork is natural beauty and the great outdoors in the surrounding area. In Chesapeake, there are miles of beautiful green space, free parks, and over 22 miles of waterways, making it a haven for wildlife.

Your eyes do not deceive you! This LOVEworks panel features some of the animals that can be found in the area, including blue crab, river otters, a blue heron and friendly bears. This sign was made with loblolly pine.

Photo credit: Ken Hendricks on Instagram

franklin

LOVE of Franklin Historic Downtown Mural
The LOVE From Historic Downtown Franklin mural features four individual snapshots of historic downtown Franklin.

Sometimes you will find a unique LOVEworks panel that is not actually a freestanding sculpture. This LOVEworks mural is in downtown Franklin, featuring four different snapshots of the city. There are kayakers on the Blackwater River in the L, while the O offers downtown views, with the Franklin Cruise In pictured on Main Street. The V features fishermen at Barrett’s Landing, while the E features “We Be Jammin'” attendees.

Photo credit: Emily Ballance

Glen Allen

LOVEwork at the Glen Allen Cultural Center for the Arts
The LOVEwork at the Cultural Arts Center at Glen Allen offers visitors the opportunity to experience the performing and visual arts. The L is seen as a big red eighth note. The O is a piece of a wooden stage floor painted like a large paint palette. The V is made up of brushes and a craftsman’s hand. The E illustrates the center’s programs (music, art, dance, etc).

This LOVEwork is located at the Cultural Center for the Arts. It presents many opportunities for visitors to experience, through the performing and visual arts held by the center.

Photo credit: Anthony Radzimo on Instagram

Harrisonburg

LOVEwork at Oasis Fine Art & Craft
The LOVEwork mosaic was created by OASIS artists, community volunteers and students from Harrisonburg High School. The large mosaic incorporates tiles on which students have written “love” in their native language. OASIS created this mosaic as a gift to Harrisonburg to celebrate the different cultures and togetherness of the wonderful community of Harrisonburg.

LOVEwork’s Oasis Arts and Crafts Center in Harrisonburg was designed by local artists, Harrisonburg High School students and community volunteers. There is a lot of LOVE in the room, as the largest tile features the word ‘love’ in many different languages.

Photo credit: Andrew Cothern on Instagram

Pennington Hole

Pennington Gap
The Pennington Gap LOVEwork promotes the heritage of the area with lettering depicting the town’s theatre, Big Stone Face logo, tobacco farms and railroad history.

This specific LOVEwork sign is a love letter to the region’s heritage. From tobacco plantations to railroad history, and even the historic Lee Theaterthis sign has it all.

Photo credit: Harold Jerrell

richmond

Richmond International Raceway
In 2013, RIR created a LOVEwork made from Goodyear tires, checkered flag vinyl, racing helmets and sheet metal that was once part of NASCAR race cars.

This LOVEwork panel is ready for the races! You can find this one at Richmond International Raceway, along with bits of NASCAR race cars, as well as different NASCAR races. If you look closely, you might even recognize some famous numbers.

Photo credit: Sarah Hauser on Instagram

Roanoke

LOVEwork at Black Dog Salvage
Black Dog Salvage’s LOVEwork was created in the company’s custom fabrication shop. The L incorporates a mix of industrial elements and musical instruments. The O uses two industrial coils painted in the colors of the rainbow. The V is made from reclaimed hand-hewn pine beams. The E is made from stainless steel German brewery piping.

If you like to dig for possessions (home), black dog recovery just might have the treasure you’re looking for. Their LOVEwork sign was made with a mix of industrial elements and musical instruments, and was made in their fabrication shop. If Black Dog Salvage sounds familiar, then you may have seen Salvage Dawgs on the DIY Network! The show ended after 11 seasons back in 2020.

Photo credit: Lovicaire on Instagram

Smithfield

LOVEwork at Smithfield
The LOVEwork at Smithfield is inspired by what Smithfield is best known for (ham and bacon).

This particular LOVEwork likes to “jamb” in the spotlight. We are not “bacon” that! After all, Smithfield (and the Isle of Wight) is known for the The oldest ham in the world (and his Cam Ham).

Photo credit: Elly Condit

Wytheville

LOVEwork in Wytheville
L represents the railway influence. O features a hot air balloon, used in the town’s elevated water reservoir in honor of the annual Chautauqua festival. V represents the crossroads of two freeways, I-77 and I-81, as well as Wytheville’s trademark theme…There’s only one. E pays homage to the history of baseball in this community as it was played in Withers Park behind the LOVEworks exhibit.

If you’ve ever driven on Interstate 81, you’ve probably seen a giant water tower shaped like a colorful hot air balloon off the highway. This colorful staple has even become Wytheville’s LOVEwork panel, where you can even stand on the ground and pose for a great photo with it.

Photo credit: Lindsay Davies

Have you spotted any LOVEworks signs across the state? Share your favorites with us on social media. We would love to see your photos.

Elisha A. Tilghman