Leesburg’s newest public art attraction will be unveiled in a special ceremony at 9 a.m. Saturday, May 20.
Mayor Kelly Burk will officially unveil the town’s new LOVEworks sculpture. Part of the Virginia Tourism Corporation’s state-wide arts campaign, the sculpture spells out the word “LOVE” in seven-foot high letters made of used bicycle parts and steel channel. The sculpture will be displayed permanently on Harrison Street across from Raflo Park and just south of the W&OD Trail.
Created by local sculptor Mike Clay, the sculpture is the result of a collaboration between the Commission on Public Art and the Friends of Leesburg Public Arts, and was funded in part by a $1,500 VTC grant.
“In order to qualify for the VTC grant, the LOVEworks sculpture had to be in a highly visible location where it is safe for people to get close to the sculpture for photo ops,” COPA Chairman Thomas O’Neil stated. “We wanted the sculpture to reflect something unique about Leesburg. With the W&OD Trail running right through the heart of town, the bike theme seemed like a great fit.”
FOLPA President Sue Stipek said that the sculpture project had truly been a community effort. In a statement, Stipek noted the monetary donations given by Leesburg Junction and Very Virginia; Lansdowne Development Group’s help with installing the concrete footing for the sculpture; Bowman Consulting’s survey work; Mike Stansbury’s engineering services; Broad Run Excavating’s help in transporting the sculpture from the artist’s home to Manassas for powder coating and then to Leesburg; American Stripping’s significant discount on powder coating; and the donation of the used bicycle parts by Plum Grove (Re)Cyclery, Velo Classique, and Lincoln Smithy.
“The project would not have been possible without these donations of materials, time and talents,” she stated.
As part of the sculpture dedication, Plum Grove (Re)Cyclery is raffling off two bicycles—a Cannondale Women’s Quick 6 and a Cannondale Trail 24 Youth. Raffle tickets are $20 each and proceeds will benefit FOLPA and Mobile Hope of Loudoun. Tickets will be available until June 1, and can be purchased at plumgrovecyclery.com. T-shirts featuring the LOVE sculpture design are also available for $25 each.
FOLPA is continuing to fundraise for the installation of the lighting for the sculpture and other public art projects. To make a donation or for more information, go to leesburgpublicarts.org.