Art

Bob Ross Is Finally Getting a Solo Exhibit

The exhibit will feature 24 happy little accidents on display

Bob Ross Exhibit
The free exhibit is already sold out
Franklin Park Arts Center
By Kayla Kibbe / September 13, 2019 11:12 am

More than two decades after this death in 1995, beloved painter and TV host Bob Ross is finally getting his own solo show, CNN reported.

The sold-out exhibit, called “Happy Accidents: An Exhibit of Original Bob Ross Paintings,” features 24 pieces from Ross’s long-running show, The Joy of Painting. The works will are on display in a small, free exhibit at the Franklin Park Arts Center in Purcellville, Virginia, about 50 miles from Washington, DC.

Ross completed over 1,000 paintings throughout the course of the show, which ran from 1983 to 1994. Ross’s signature landscapes — dotted with “happy little trees,” “happy little clouds,” and notably lacking in people — have never been for sale, despite plenty of interested buyers. The vast majority of Ross’s collection is owned by the Kowalski family, who runs Bob Ross Inc., headquartered in Herndon, Virginia. The painter’s longtime business partner, Annette Kowalski is credited with discovering Ross back in 1981 when she took one of his painting classes in Clearwater, Florida. Bob Ross Inc. is now run by Kowalski’s daughter, Joan.

Historically, the Kowalski family has resisted multiple offers to sell or donate the collection. In March, however, Bob Ross Inc. made an exception for the Smithsonian Institution, which acquired some of Ross’s paintings and tools. The Smithsonian has yet to display the paintings, but the acquisition paved the way for Ross’s upcoming solo exhibit at the Franklin Park Arts Center, helmed by Kowalski family friend, Elizabeth Bracey.

“It was not really strategically planned, it was just sort of a handshake agreement, but then the word got out and now they are just being inundated with requests for tickets,” Kowalski told CNN. “I love that story, because it’s just sort of how everything seems to happen with Bob Ross small things become wonderful and significant.”

The exhibit opened on September 10 and will run through October 15.

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