People walking around Purcellville may notice a slight change in scenery. More than 40 wooden loveseats painted by local artists have been placed around town this summer.
The loveseats are quickly becoming a sensation around Purcellville. Many residents have made it a goal to sit in all 44 loveseats. This project, however, is not the first of its kind.
Discover Purcellville, an organization with the purpose of marketing Purcellville to the Washington, D.C., region, has coordinated similar community art projects annually for the past three years.
Wine barrels were painted for the project in 2016, followed by benches and planters in 2017. This year it’s wooden adirondack loveseats.
Heading this summer’s project is Michael Oaks, the president of Discover Purcellville. He was on vacation when the idea hit him a few years ago.
“My wife and I were in Stamford, Connecticut a few summers ago and were walking around downtown,” says Oaks. “And they had these huge 7 foot dinosaurs all painted throughout the downtown. We said ‘we should do something like that for PV.’”
Oaks sees it as a chance to bring some attention and daytrip tourism to Purcellville.
“We do it to brighten up the town and to promote Purcellville as our community. It brings people in from out of town to check them out,” said Oaks.
He said the response from the region has exceeded his expectations.
“We never thought it would grow so big,” he remarks. “We started with the wine barrels three summers ago and it got media attention from West Virginia and Washington D.C. It was all over social media.”
It has worked out pretty well so far. Past projects have been featured on NBC4 and in local newspapers.
One resident not associated with Discover Purcellville has even started a Facebook group titled “Take A Seat Purcellville,” where people can post pictures of the loveseats. The group has gained more than 200 members since its recent creation on June 18th.
Oaks said he hasn’t done it all alone. He said he utilized the Loudoun artistic community by having all 44 loveseats painted by local artists.
“Our artists are locally Loudoun County artists,” he said. “They all have volunteered their time and talent to paint the loveseats.”
This isn’t the end for the artistic summer projects. The loveseats will be auctioned off in November, and the proceeds will go toward next summer’s project.
Tickets for the auction can be purchased at brownpapertickets.com/event/3496354.