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Occoquan Mayor Earnie Porta and local artist Marisela Rumberg cut the ribbon on the town’s newly designed "LOVE" sign. Rumberg donated her time to create the project using the Zentangle method.

The familiar “LOVE” sign in Occoquan’s River Mill Park has been given a new look, donated by local artist Marisela Rumberg.

Occoquan Mayor Earnie Porta was joined by a couple dozen town supporters for the reveal Sept. 3. Porta noted that Occoquan is part of the Northern Virginia Arts and Cultural District, the first interjurisdictional arts district in Virginia, which includes Occoquan, the Workhouse Arts Center in Lorton and Occoquan Regional Park.

“It’s designed to give people opportunities like this to promote the arts and cultural activities in our area,” Porta said.

Rumberg, who teaches at the Workhouse Arts Center, was given the wooden facings for the sign in pieces and painted them in her Fairfax basement, using the Zentangle method, which follows process and form.

“Zentangle is abstract art, and meditational drawing that gets you to the Zen zone,” Rumberg said. “I went to the pure Zentangle method. I didn’t mark anything in advance. There are no mistakes – just go ahead and start drawing. Everything is a repetitive process, and I enjoyed my process a lot.”

Betsy Garnes of Lake Ridge attended one of Rumberg’s classes and said she enjoys the Zentangle process.

“She inspired so much in me,” Garnes said. “It provided me an artistic outlet that was quick and healthy, and let you express yourself in a brief moment, like during a lunch break. I would do a Zentangle or two every single day, and so my office is covered in Zentangles.”

Porta said Rumberg donated her time to the project.

Garnes added that this gesture is in keeping with her teacher’s sense of giving to others.

“It makes sense that it would be a love sign that she worked on,” she added. “If it’s a four-letter word, it might as well be ‘love.’”

Paul Lara covers the military beat. Reach him at

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