Published on : Sunday, March 19, 2017
Today, First Lady Dorothy McAuliffe and Basil Gooden, Secretary of Agriculture, unveiled the newest LOVEwork at the Market at Grelen. The First Lady and Secretary were joined by Market at Grelen owners Dan and Leslie Gregg, as well as Rita McClenny, president and CEO of Virginia Tourism Corporation. The new artwork will be the first “living” LOVEwork in the Commonwealth. There are currently more than 65 LOVE artworks across Virginia.
The Market at Grelen LOVEwork will be the first plant-based installation. Each letter is constructed of rebar, and will be garnished with the following embellishments:
• L: The bottom of the ‘L’ will have a planter incorporated and will be changed seasonally.
• O: The ‘O’ will be reinforced and filled with moss and succulents.
• V: The ‘V’ will be enhanced with ivy and other flowering vines.
• E: The bottom of the ‘E’ will also have a planter incorporated and will be changed seasonally.
Ivy and flowering vines will also be planted under each letter eventually resulting in a green, plant-based “outline” for the artwork.
“I am thrilled to unveil the first living LOVEwork in Virginia,” said First Lady McAuliffe. “This beautiful new artwork is the perfect expression of the Greggs’ celebration of open space, agriculture, and the farm-to-table philosophy. I applaud the team at the Market at Grelen for their dedication to promoting agritourism and sustainability to travelers from all over the country.”
“Agritourism is an important sector of the tourism industry as a whole, but also a critical part of the New Virginia Economy,” said Secretary Gooden. “New agritourism attractions like the Market at Grelen’s LOVEwork help to showcase the bounty of our soil and of our people, and showcases Virginia as a premier travel destination.”
“We are thrilled to become a part of the LOVEworks program as we unveil our Living Love sign,” said Leslie Gregg, President and Creative Director for the Market at Grelen. “Inspired by our love of flora fauna, we have had such fun designing the sign with a local artist to create a sculpture that will only get prettier as it grows and matures. Set with our beautiful nursery background in mind, we are sure that many of our Grelen brides and visitors will ‘love’ getting their picture with our new inspirational sign.”
The Market at Grelen, located minutes from James Madison’s Montpelier, features a café, event space, garden shop, hiking trails, and a U-Pick farm. The Market also features local food, as well as Virginia beer, cider, and wine. Grelen also provided much of the landscaping services for garden restorations at the Executive Mansion in Richmond through the Garden Club of Virginia.
The LOVE artwork program is commissioned by Virginia Tourism Corporation, and is an extension of the 48-year old “Virginia is for Lovers” brand, featuring giant LOVE letters in towns and cities across the Commonwealth. The LOVE letters, called LOVEworks, have become popular tourist attractions, inspiring viral posts on social media using the hashtag #LOVEVA.
Tourism is an instant revenue generator for the Commonwealth. In 2015, visitors spent $23 billion, which supported 223,100 jobs and contributed $1.6 billion in state and local taxes.