Great love letters

Published 9:42 pm Tuesday, November 26, 2019

In these trying and uncertain times, we say “Hooray for LOVE.”

Everyone and everyplace can use a little more LOVE, and we’re thrilled that Suffolk now has its own permanent LOVEworks sign outside the Suffolk Center for Cultural Arts.

Many mock our state’s “Virginia is for Lovers” slogan, but the fact remains it is one of the most well-known and enduring tourism slogans in the United States, if not the world. It is 50 years old now and seems only to gain in popularity, drawing many people to travel within our state’s borders, from the mountains to the seashore, to see what all the fuss is about.
The permanent LOVEworks signs have become more and more popular over the last decade or so. This rise in popularity seems to have been driven by social media, since — let’s be honest — the signs make for great photos and catchy hashtags.

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Suffolk, having the good fortune to be located in Virginia, was missing out on all the fun without one of these permanent installations. That is, until this weekend.

Art students from Suffolk Public Schools’ three high schools as well as Nansemond-Suffolk Academy each got the chance to design and decorate one of the six-foot-by-three-foot letters. They incorporated many elements of Suffolk’s natural beauty, history, industry and way of life, including the Nansemond River and its sea life, peanuts (and Mr. Peanut), cotton, Suffolk’s downtown and more.

Dr. Joleen Neighbours, SPS fine arts facilitator, summed it up best at Saturday’s ceremony when she said, “How wonderful that we can say in the city of Suffolk that we reflect love. … This is the work of … young men and women who reflect all they see around them and what they want us to see.”

We hope to see these LOVE letters attracting lots of attention in the future.