MacCallum More unveils newest Virginia LOVEworks sculpture

Artist Fred Cartwright stands in front of Chase City's newest LOVEworks sculpture.

In collaboration with the Town of Chase City, the Mac Callum More Museum and Gardens Board unveiled Virginia’s newest LOVEworks sculpture. The LOVEworks program was founded by the Virginia Tourism Cooperation in 2013. The LOVEworks program is a state-wide initiative to encourage and promote travel in Virginia. The program name of course comes from the slogan “Virginia is for Lovers.”

So far, more than 200 LOVEworks sculptures have been placed among the Commonwealth.This unveiling makes the second LOVEworks sculpture featured in Chase City, and the sixth in Mecklenburg County. The first is the archway on Main Street. This sculpture was created by Steve Leach of Chase City. The arch is made out of 681 horseshoes and the starburst in the middle is made of files that were used to file horse hooves. Leach stated that his inspiration came from Elsa Cristina Gailor also of Chase City.

The newest statue located at the MacCallum More Museum and Gardens was made by artist Fred Cartwright who has been in the metalwork industry for over 30 years. Cartwright is no stranger to the Museum and Gardens; he has previously helped the museum by restoring the gates located at the back of the gardens. Cartwright thanked all those that helped him build the sculpture through donations including Home Depot which donated a few of the building materials. Cartwright also thanked his nephew David Beck and his son Caleb Cartwright who both helped him work on the sculpture.

The sculpture took roughly seven and a half months from conception to fully-finished. Fred said that some of the inspiration came from his girlfriend Pam. He stated, “Each on of these letters represents something here at [MacCallum More]. The “L” represents the beauty and love of the gardens and some of the different flowers and plants here.”

The “O” is wreathed in the dogwood flowers—the state flower—and inside are two cardinals. Cartwright said that he included both a male and female cardinal because, “Virginia is for lovers.”

Cartwright explained that inside of the MacCallum More museum, there is a collection of indian artifacts that have been brought from around the area. He said the tried to represent that rich history with the arrows inside of the “V” in the sculpture, and camouflaged them a little bit by bringing in some more of the flowers from the gardens.

Finally, the “E” Cartwright said is representative of the flora and fauna that can be found around Mecklenburg County. He included oak leaves as well as the image of a squirrel and a rabbit inside of the “E” and finished the sculpture off by adding a few more flowers to make it cohesive.

The newest LOVEworks sculpture is certainly beautiful, and is a wonderful representation of both the MacCallum More Museum and Gardens as well as Mecklenburg County. Be sure to stop by the Museum and Gardens so you can see the sculpture firsthand and take a picture and tag it with #loveva!