Bob Ross exhibit Happy Little Accidents launched July 4 at Penticton Art Gallery

Peek into Bob Ross exhibit

Casey Richardson

After a delay in opening due to COVID-19, Penticton Art Gallery was finally able to open its doors on July 4, unveiling the Bob Ross: Happy Little Accidents exhibition. 

The gallery has seen more people come in through their doors than ever before according to the Penticton Art Gallery curator Paul Crawford.

“Pretty remarkable to think that something has this much of a draw, so I’m really thrilled at the way it has turned out,” Crawford said.

Visitors span locals, BC residents and travellers all the way from Alberta to come check out the famous painters happiest works. 

Crawford mentioned that the exhibit has “really seemed to strike an emotional cord with a lot of people. I think Bob Ross for many people is a real source of comfort.”

That emotional moment was also brought back for Crawford. One of his favourite paintings features the northern lights and brings back memories of when he was young living up north.

“I just remember seeing that and thinking, ‘Man if I could only ever see the northern lights in my life’, and having to experience that not so distant past,” said Crawford.

The popularity resurgence of Bob Ross has helped spark interest in the gallery as well, and Crawford mentioned people's interest growing from the show being placed on online streaming services. 

“[People] have maybe gone back during the last four months of them being locked down at home and revisited Bob Ross and had a chance to reconnect them with their childhood.”

Episodes of the Bob Ross show, The Joy of Painting, are also played in the gallery alongside the finished works. 

“It’s an amazing thing just to watch peoples reactions, looking at the original paintings [and] remembering that episode.”

The exhibition will be at the gallery until September 13, showcasing a large number of Ross’ stunning landscapes to allow everyone to reminisce.

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