PURCELLVILLE, Va. (WDVM) — 24 of Bob Ross’ original paintings were originally headed for Washington, D.C., but Franklin Park Performing and Visual Arts Center’s managing director Elizabeth Bracey says the Smithsonian didn’t have the place for a whole exhibit.
Her gallery did.
“For us to have an exhibit like this, I think, is so perfect for the whole vibe; the whole Bob Ross experience… for it to be in a small unknown place like this,” said Bracey.
Last year, about 30,000 people attended Franklin Park’s performances and exhibits. For this exhibit alone, the art center is expecting 15,000 people; about half of that foot traffic in just a month’s time.
Art instructor Bob Ross hosted his show, “The Joy of Painting,” from 1983 to 1994, but his popularity has far from faded.
“I think [his paintings] resonate because he was able to bring that creativity out in other people,” said Bracey.
This is the first time Bob Ross, Inc. has compiled his paintings like this in one room, and fans aren’t waiting ’til the next time to take a look.
“You don’t feel like he’s making anything too spectacular, and then all of a sudden it just comes together right at the end,” said Stephanie Burnette, who used to tune into Ross’ show as a child after her cartoons ended. “It’s really awesome seeing him paint.”