Martinsville, Virginia


Local Organizations Share the LOVE of Art

Love is in the air in Martinsville-Henry County; the love of art, that is. Officials from the Martinsville-Henry County Economic Development Corporation's (EDC) Tourism Division and Patrick Henry Community College's (PHCC) The Artisan Center recently partnered to create a LOVE Artwork called "mARTinsville LOVE." The public art installment, which spells out the word LOVE, is part of a statewide marketing challenge from the Virginia Tourism Corporation (VTC).

According to VTC, "LOVE is at the heart of every Virginia vacation." That is also true locally for Martinsville-Henry County where Tourism officials tout that "You'll Love the Pace!" "Whether you're interested in a calm day browsing galleries and shopping for locally made art or an action packed day of white-water paddling and racing, we offer all these experiences and more of every speed in between," said Jennifer Doss, Director of Tourism with the EDC.

"mARTinsville LOVE" consists of 52 picture frames of various colors, sizes and materials loaned by a local business, Chris's Custom Framing. The display is 6 feet tall and 23 feet wide and was assembled by Jennifer Doss, Kara Carter-Hundley, Felicia Rupert and Amy Reed of the EDC and PHCC.

The exhibit of "mARTinsville LOVE" coincides with several upcoming art events:

• April 21st - "Artisans Leading the Way"- The Artisans Center of Virginia is proud to announce the opening of its new Studio School in collaboration with PHCC's The Artisan Center.

• April 21st- "Dancing for the Arts"- Watch a live ballroom dancing competition and vote for your favorite local team.

May 4th- "First Friday Art Walk"- Visit Uptown Martinsville for a night full of art, food and fun!

• May 5th- "Poco + Pure Prairie League"- An evening with these two legendary bands will be unforgettable!

• May 18th- "Expressions 2012"- Join Piedmont Arts and Lynwood Artists for an opening reception and awards ceremony at this art show.

• May 24-27th - "Rooster Walk 4 Music & Art Festival"- Enjoy great music from different genres as well as arts and crafts, food and children's activities. Featuring special guest Gary Sinise and His Lt. Dan Band.

 For additional details on these and other events go to

(L-R): Felicia Rupert, Kara Carter-Hundley, Amy Reed and Jennifer Doss

The frames are empty on purpose and signage prompts viewers to imagine what they can create using local resources such as PHCC's The Artisan Center and Piedmont Art's Studio 107. "Art is an essential and powerful element for community development and expansion and we hope the "mARTinsville LOVE" exhibit will have multiple benefits to our community" said Kara Carter-Hundley of PHCC. "By displaying this exhibit in Uptown Martinsville, it is our hope that area residents and visitors alike will be inspired to participate in an art class at The Artisan Center and take advantage of all of the amazing creative venues in Martinsville and Henry County."

The public is encouraged to take their photo with "mARTinsville LOVE" and post it to Twitter with the hashtag #mARTinsvilleLOVE or to "By sharing these photos," said Doss, "visitors and residents can help us spread the message about all the wonderful opportunities to enjoy arts and culture that Martinsville-Henry County has to offer."

"mARTinsville LOVE" is open to the public free of charge Monday through Saturday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Martinsville-Henry County Visitor Center/The Artisan Center located at 54 West Church Street in Martinsville. It will be on display through May 31, 2012. Picture yourself having fun; picture yourself creating; picture yourself in Martinsville-Henry County, Virginia!


 (L-R): Cordia Al-Qahhar, Eden Turner, Jasmine Brinson, Ryan Handy, Jaiana Brinson, Matthew Handy 
and Vanessa Dillard from the Martinsville-Henry County YMCA After School Program.