NCWU to Welcome World’s Largest Exhibition of Bob Ross Paintings to North Carolina


ROCKY MOUNT, NORTH CAROLINA – Fantastic Little Paintings by artist, Bob Ross, is set to adorn the walls of The Mims and Gravely Galleries at The Dunn Center in fall 2023. The exhibition will be open to the public with tickets available starting late summer 2023. This will be the first time a Bob Ross exhibit has been to North Carolina and the largest exhibition ever seen under one roof globally.

(L to R): NCWU President, Dr. Evan D. Duff, signs the art loan agreement for the exhibit along with Art Curator for The Dunn Center, Greg Purcell.

Robert Norman Ross, an American painter, art instructor and television host known by so many for his permed hair, showed the world how to paint fun pieces of art. He was the creator and host of The Joy of Painting, an instructional television program that aired from 1983 to 1994 on PBS in the United States, CBC in Canada, and similar channels in Latin America, Europe and elsewhere. Ross subsequently became known through his posthumous internet presence.

Spending 20 years in the U.S. Airforce, this is where he developed an interest in painting after attending an art class at the Anchorage U.S.O. club. While still in the Airforce, Bob discovered a show called The Magic of Painting. This is where he learned a 16th century painting style called “alla prima” (Italian for “First Attempt”) widely known as “wet-on-wet.” This allowed him to create a painting in thirty minutes. Ross became a master at this technique and began to successfully sell his work.

During each thirty-minute episode of The Joy of Painting, Bobwould teach his viewers the quick, wet-on-wet oil painting technique. He would paint a scene without sketching it first, creating the image directly from his mind in real-time. He explained his limited paint palette and made the process easy for everybody to understand in simple, easy to follow steps. Ross soothingly reminded his viewers that “we don’t make mistakes, just happy little accidents.”

Ross was said to have painted an estimated 30,000 pieces of art in his lifetime– many of which will be on display in The Dunn Center. Guests are invited to come experience the joy that Ross brought to the art world. For more information, contact Greg Purcell, Art Curator, at gpurcell@ncwc.edu.   

About The Dunn Center
The Dunn Center is a premier venue for concerts, shows and conferences in eastern NC. Located on the campus of NC Wesleyan University, in the heart of Rocky Mount, The Dunn Center is proud to host the Wesleyan Season Series of cultural events and concerts. In addition to these world-class performances, The Dunn Center features a variety of campus and community events, including Wesleyan Players productions, concerts of the Tar River Swing Band and Orchestra and other various performances by nationally known artists. The Mims and Gravely Galleries, located within The Dunn Center, hosts a variety of exhibits, including paintings, drawings, and sculpture. The galleries are open weekdays from 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., as well as during performances. To learn more, visit dunncenter.com and follow on Facebook.

8 thoughts on “NCWU to Welcome World’s Largest Exhibition of Bob Ross Paintings to North Carolina

  1. Please put me on an email list and inform me when tickets go on sale for the Bob Ross Exhibit fall of 2023.

  2. So excited that this is visiting NC. I’m a Bob Ross certified instructor in NC and the folks I teach are so happy after completing a Bob Ross style painting. He was the master at making this type painting achievable for everyone!

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