Virginia’s newest LOVEwork was unveiled at the Smith Mountain Lake Regional Chamber of Commerce on Aug. 28. The artwork showcases many of the lake’s popular attractions painted in the recognizable letters of L-O-V-E.
The LOVEwork was painted on the windows of the Smith Mountain Lake Visitor Center by local artist Lisa Floyd, which is different than others in the state that are often 3D pieces of art.
“The goal is to have the sign as a backdrop as visitors take their photo in front of the letters L-O-V-E and share on social media,” Christopher Finley, the chamber’s executive director, said of the new painting. “We couldn’t think of a more appropriate location to display the new Smith Mountain Lake LOVEwork than the Smith Mountain Lake Visitor Center.”
The LOVEwork will be the fourth in Franklin County and the second at Smith Mountain Lake. The first one was completed in 2016 and is now located in front of Westlake Cinema.
The new artwork was made possible through the Virginia Tourism Corporation’s WanderLove Recovery Grant. The chamber was awarded just under $10,000 in July through the grant.
Finley said the artwork unveiled Aug. 28 is just one part of the grant funding. A 60-second commercial showcasing the lake is expected to be completed later this month.
“I am thrilled and honored to serve this great community that I love by being a part of the WanderLove campaign to share what is so uniquely awesome about our lake destination,” Floyd said. “Kudos to this chamber for so often infusing local art. It was our goal to pack into our LOVE letters design a comprehensive look all the main reasons folks love wandering here.”
Many popular lake destinations can be found in the painting. Floyd said people who are new the lake can see some of the fun places to go and activities to do, while longtime residents can enjoy finding all the iconic landmarks painted into each letter.
The LOVEwork is now a permanent part of the visitor center. Floyd said she sealed it to prevent chipping and fading.
More information on Virginia’s LOVEwork signs can be found at virginia.org/love. The SML Visitor Center mural is expected to be added in the coming weeks.