Bob Ross Art Exhibition

Bob Ross Exhibit, Bringing Back the JOY with 76 Newly Revealed Paintings

Bob Ross Bringing Back the JOY will be on display AGAIN in the Mims Gallery of The Dunn Center, located on the beautiful NC Wesleyan University campus from Monday, December 2, 2024 through Monday, January 13, 2025. The 2024 exhibition will entail 76 different paintings than the previous ones on display at NCWU, including special pieces aside from those featured on his PBS show, The Joy of Painting. This will be the second Bob Ross exhibit in North Carolina, but still the largest exhibition ever seen under one roof globally.

During the holiday season of 2023, there were 76 of Ross’ paintings on display from November 1, 2023 through January 4, 2024.  The exhibit was viewed by over 11,000 visitors that traveled from all over the country, and beyond, to see the magnificent work. The response was absolutely incredible. From corporate gatherings to individual ticket holders, people came from far and wide to be a part of this experience. We had visitors from Australia, Connecticut, Minnesota, California, Maine, Texas and even London, England. Check out some of the testimonies from our visitors below.

Advance Tickets will go on sale Thursday, July 4th for $15 per person. 

Free admission for children under five.

For more information about the artwork, contact Jan VolzGallery Art Curator at 252.985.5268 or and sign up for the email list at

About Bob Ross

our state logoRobert 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 PaintingThis is where he learned a 16-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, Bob would 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.

Check out Our 2023 Event Highlights

Bob Ross, Inc. President Joan Kowalski traveled to North Carolina to be part of the exhibition kick-off.  Joan shook hands, took photos, shared stories and was an extra little surprise for those attending opening day.

Later in November, special guest Jim Needham visited the exhibition. Described as “The Real Deal” and retired General Manager of PBS affiliate WIPB-TV, he is also known as Bob’s best friend and producer of The Joy of Painting TV show. Needham joined us on campus to celebrate the life and work of Ross with “Remembering Bob Ross… a Conversation with his Best Friend.” Telling stories of their time together, he presented “The Real Story” and was available to answer questions about the legendary man behind all of the Fantastic Little Paintings.

A huge success, this exhibit was made possible by Bob Ross, Inc. and proceeds will go toward benefiting NCWU students and to help bring future artists to the galleries at The Dunn Center.

2023 Bob Ross Event Featured Stories In the Media

Memories Shared from Attendees

“One of my fondest memories is watching Bob Ross with my grandfather. Now I watch it almost nightly. His voice and calmness knock me right out.” Anonymous 

“I work at a hair studio and during 2020 I started showing Bob Ross re-runs for particularly anxious guests. It was one show everyone enjoyed and was calming to everyone.” Amanda

“I have been watching Bob Ross with my nana since I was little. He has been such an inspiration in both of our works of art, but most importantly he brought us together! “JRW & JDS

“I teach art to K-4 graders. Just this week I taught them my Bob-inspired method for sketching trees. This exhibit is inspiring. Thank you for the thoughtful displays.” Anonymous 

“Bob Ross gave me so much inspiration to become an artist. I was accepted into Savannah College of Art & Design in 2018. I plan on getting Bob Ross certified. His work has touched my heart.” Madison

“After seeing the Bob Ross exhibit in Purcellville, Virginia, we thought our niece would love to see this exhibit and have planned this trip to meet here from Virginia and Texas. Since our niece had a “Bob Ross” night with her husband we thought that would be fun for Don and Angela to do together. They selected a mountain episode to paint, as Don and Angela painted, their son, Sam, Jane, and husband Bryan, sipped wine and watched a live action Bob Ross teaching moment. These paintings came out much better than the original attempt. Don’s was worthy of framing! Thank you for having this exhibit honoring a man who brought joy to many and continues to do so.” Don & Jane

“Well hello! I am a certified Bob Ross instructor. I watched Bob on PBS for years and when his shows first started I was in a very bad marriage. Bob was the only male “positive” figure in my life. I never miss a show. It wasn’t until 2 years ago my journey as a CRI started. Again, Bob came in and saved my life. I was struggling with horrible depression. I didn’t know I could paint but one morning I remembered I had some paint and a canvas put away. It was a gift from my current husband. I ran across a YouTube video and decided to try and paint along with Bob. It didn’t take long to figure out acrylic paint did NOT blend! Ha! Still, I ended up with a beautiful painting. Long story short I took an oil “Bob Ross” class and fell in love with oils! I already loved Bob so the rest was easy. I joined Faye’s Happy Little Forest and the rest is history. It’s my passion now! I LOVE teaching and being a CRI. I hope to expand and become a business. Bob is still a place of joy for me. Even if I’m only painting along with him I’m happy. I so wish he were still with us. We need more Bob Ross in the world! A grateful CRI and Bob Ross girl forever! Happy painting! God Bless.” Lisa Rae

“My Bob Ross story: my mom’s a painter, so I grew up watching his show. Because I was an unplanned addition to my family, my mom always called me “a happy little accident”, like Ross always said in the show.” Anonymous 

“From a young age, I remember being exposed to Bob’s art. It was a Saturday morning viewing party in my home, a pause for a viewing when scrolling through channels lazily. Bob always appeared in my life, am apparition of his passion built into the home as solidly as the beams and the love of my parents that held it together. Bob, along with the skills of my mother and the love of my father, is the reason I’m an artist. We can learn so many lessons from his exquisite work, piecing together the life of a man and a brand who truly just wanted to share the joys of his work with the world. Bob’s paintings ooze with his passion and his love of the craft. As an artist, how could we not want to replicate such a life? How could we not strive to create with such unbridled kindness and caring as he did? His show being called “The Joy of Painting” was more than just a title, it was a reminder to how, as artists, we should live and value our lives. Anyone can create, we just need the encouragement from Bob’s guiding positivity. I’m so thankful for this exhibit for such an important reminder. Here’s to Bob, may his spirit live on as long as his paintings walk the earth. Thank you for this exhibit. It’s truly life changing.” LCH

“Our dog begs for us to put Bob Ross on the TV for her. She loves to watch him paint!” Christine

“My friend says Bob Ross is her husband.” Lily

“The first time I smoked weed, I watched Bob Ross and had a spiritual experience.” Anonymous 

“My wife and I purchased a “Samsung” TV several years ago. About a year ago I found Bob Ross channel! What an amazing find! I had watched Bob back when his show was aired live. What a “joy” to be able to watch the show whenever I wanted! I love how Bob makes it look as if anyone could enjoy painting! He’s such a patient teacher! And like he says, I now look at God’s earth in a new and wonderful way! Thanks Bob.” Tim

“I am Madison’s mom. I was telling my mother my memories of watching Bob Ross and being inspired. He was so calming. I would lay on the floor at age 8 or 9, coloring in front of the TV while my mom ironed the clothes. My mom remembered those times and Bob Ross…thing is she is 78 and has dementia.” Jackie

“So grateful to be here and see Bob’s work in person. Absolutely amazing. In the summer prior to this day my son and I purchased a Bob Ross paint collection that we will use to paint on with his paints.” Heather & Timothy

“Thank you for presenting this show! This represents wonderful memories of my childhood. I am legally blind. I wanted to paint and be creative, but I could not see art teachers’ hands and their paint brush techniques. I would come home from school, turn on the TV and watch “Bob Ross”. I could sit close to the TV and see his hands, knives, and brush strokes. His encouragement too was inspirational. I paint still today and sometimes I sell one or two. Thanks again.” Kim

“My mother used to enjoy watching Bob Ross on PBS in Greenville, NC back in the 1980’s and 1990’s. She was a talented artist and greatly admired Bob and his talent and teaching techniques. Fast forward many years later I came across a Bob Ross video on TV via YouTube. There he was, the man and his “Happy Little Trees”. Remembering mom loved him I watched and within 15 minutes I was hooked! Three years later I enjoy painting in his style and have even made a “Happy Buck” here and there. It’s great therapy and brings her memory back every time I put brush to canvas. Thanks Bob!! P.S. I never thought I had any ability to paint – I was wrong. Mom would have loved seeing me enjoying myself at the canvas!!” Irving

“Thank you for the wonderful exhibit. I wish I had been able to see him before he passed. He gave me confidence to paint and to realize that “happy little accidents” were not mistakes!” Marty & Wanda

“I was so excited to hear the exhibit was here. I was thrilled to actually see his work.” Lewis

“My name is Bryson, aka The Bob Ros Jr., and I have been a fan since I was around 12 years old. I am 18 now and he allows me to sleep well at night. I was dressed as him for Halloween 3 years ago and I have looked up to him forever! I love his soothing voice and amazing afro. He has helped me through the good, bad and ugly. I always have him pulled up on my school computer and I appreciate everything he has done.” Bryson

“Thank you, Bob, for teaching me and so many others to believe in ourselves and our art. You’ve taught me lessons that I will hold onto for the rest of my life. “I think there’s an artist hidden at the bottom of every single one of us” – Bob Ross. (drawing of Bob Ross)” Ashley

“My earrings are tiny watercolor paint sets, so I sat and painted Aurora’s dance! (Has color painting attached)” Julia

“Thank you for a beautiful exhibit! We arranged to come here from Virginia and Texas just to see this together. One of the reasons Bob Ross is so special to us is that he has made art feel achievable by everyone! A few years ago, on a couple of date nights, my husband bought the Bob Ross Art of Chill board game and the full paint set by Bob Ross. Then on date night, we proceeded to paint the same painting. We rewound that episode many times – it took far more than his 30 minutes, but we had fun. We are planning many more painting together nights.” Bryan & Angel

“I have been a huge fan from an early age. Used to watch episodes with my grandmother and fell in love with his techniques, paintings, voice, aura, pretty much everything. Became an artist, went to art school and became an art teacher. Been teaching for 18 years now and my whole art room and teaching philosophy centers around Bob Ross! Love the exhibit.” Yancey

“Randomly came across him as soon as I started middle school. Soon started becoming something I was known for. Literally “The Bob Ross kid”. Mayson

“I struggled a lot with anxiety when I was younger. So every night for months I would play Bob Ross episodes to find a calm or help me sleep. It genuinely soothed my anxiety a lot and I will always appreciate his episodes for that.” Anonymous 

“Bob Ross is not only an artistic inspiration but an overall inspiration on how life should be lived. His paintings express love, vibrancy, and hope, and he always painted with the purpose of never giving up and ensuring that we could persevere.” Onyia

“Bob Ross was my first introduction into Sound Therapy. Bob was the OG ASMR Master! His talent and passion live on in his work.” Trissi

“Bob Ross is what gave me motivation to continue art. I did a project about him as he is one of my heroes. I watch him when I have a rough day, he also bonded with my friends and class.” Hannah

“Bob Ross was my idol, he made me want to create art and we both use R to sign paintings. I didn’t know that till I saw his paintings here.” Anonymous 

“I am a big fan of Bob Ross because last year my grampa died, and he had a few canvases and brushes in his house. I got to keep them and started painting. I heard of Bob Ross and watched him, I painted too. Now I love Bob Ross and am a great painter and artist.” Audreyh.

“I am visiting NC from Australia. It was great to come across this exhibit and learn about Bob Ross. Would certainly cherish this memory.” Soni

“Grew up watching him. Not old enough to appreciate him but not young enough to turn him off. Later when art became a hobby I started searching how to videos on YouTube to help me learn how to do what I wanted to paint. I found him all over again and quickly learned a lot from him. Later during rough times I’d come home and watch his videos for peace and comfort. He’d put me to sleep a lot! LOL! So glad he had his show and so glad I could see these paintings in person. We drove 6 hours to see them.” Bob

“Bob Ross’ painting show is one of my father’s go-tos. It helps him – and me – to relax at the end of the day and is something that we can bond over. It doesn’t matter that it’s not a big blockbuster movie or the latest action flick; we don’t always feel like watching those anyway. But we’re always in the mood for Bob. I think the world will always need folks like Bob in it, not only to help all of us relax, but to help remind us what’s really important.”  Anonymous 

“I’ve been watching “The Joy of Painting” since I was a kid (I’m 46 now). In 2018, I finally decided to try what I was sure would be an impossible feat: following along with one of his tutorials. I ordered a kit and tried it. It didn’t turn out half bad. So I kept at it. Quarantine gave me lots of time to practice. With Bob’s quiet encouragement from beyond, I continued to learn and practice, and am now teaching classes. I am so thrilled to see some of Bob’s works in person. He is such an inspiration.” Anonymous 

“I can’t believe I am getting the chance to see these beautiful paintings in person. Bob is my Monet, Van Gogh, Rubens. Being able to see how gorgeous, crisp, colorful these paintings really are is mind blowing. The TV show is obviously not in HD, so you really miss out on a lot of the subtlety of his work. Incredible! Thank you!” Amy

“I’m so thankful that I had this opportunity to see Bob Ross’ art in person. I was watching him on PBS with my brother before I even started elementary school. He is such a huge part of my childhood. I love his art and the messages he would teach his audience during his shows. I’m so glad he still gets recognition today. It makes me so happy to see all these people still appreciating his art.” Bob

“I used to watch Bob Ross everyday after school on PBS. I remember the first time I tried a painting that implemented his techniques – how astonished I was to discover that what he made look so simple was actually quite a challenge in application for a 10-year old me. But he exuded so much peace as he painted and maintained the philosophy of “happy accidents” that I kept at it. I am now a professional illustrator. I still use his techniques and the tricks he taught in his show. I will forever be grateful.” Venessa

“I teach middle school art. They’re very aware of Bob Ross as a pop icon – but I made sure they knew who he was as an artist, a person, and what he contributed to his viewers. We watched a brief biography, a montage of him painting, and then drew a cartoon image of him! It was lots of fun.” Brandi

“I grew up in the ‘90s so always knew who Bob Ross was, but never fully experienced what a blessing he was until this past year. He plays in my room nearly every night while I fall asleep. I have been dealing with anxiety this past year. When it flares up, I have a slew of physical symptoms, to include sleeplessness. In the middle of the night when I was having a panic attack and could not sleep, I found Bob Ross in Spanish on a Roku TV channel. Even though I could not understand everything he was saying, his voice was still soothing and I found rest and relaxation watching him paint. I eventually found a channel in English! 😊I’m so happy to have been able to come here and see some of Bob’s paintings in real life. Thanks so much!” Heidi

“I have been watching Bob Ross since I was a little kid. I had his art set and even wrote him a letter! Sadly, he didn’t write back, but that’s OK. As an adult, I’m here with my three kids and husband. It’s so special to get to see his art in real life. It’s even better than what is seen on TV! We have several VHS’s (if you can believe it!) that we watch and find inspiration with. It truly is a joy to be here. Hopefully one day we can go to another exhibit. But how lucky and grateful I am to be able to come here – only 1 hour away! Thank you!” Stundridge Family

“When my son was little, he would watch PBS on Saturday mornings. Bob Ross came on at 11:30 after the children shows he always watched. When he was in 1st grade, they had to do a report (written and oral) on a famous person. He chose Bob Ross. When all the other moms were sharing who their children chose – typically a president, actor or religious leader, and I stated “Jacob’s doing his on Bob Ross.” Everyone said “who?”, but once I said the gentlemen who paints on TV, they knew. He had the most original choice that day.” Judy

“Like many who grew up in the 80’s I’d watch Bob on Saturday mornings. Pushing evergreens out of a fan brush he was like a wizard! I never had the courage to try until 2018 when one of my students dressed like him for Halloween. As soon as I heard my brush against the canvas, I was hooked! I have painted well over 100 paintings since and have even sold some. Bob is right that “talent is a pursued interest” and that “anyone can do it!” Happy Painting!” Peter

®Bob Ross name and images are registered trademarks of Bob Ross Inc. ®Bob Ross Inc. Used with permission.