Public Painting

Upcoming Via Colori® Event

The weekend of September 24-26th marks the First Annual Fredericksburg Via Colori® street painting festival in downtown Fredericksburg, Virginia. Via Colori® is a modern interpretation of a centuries-old tradition in which volunteer artists create large scale pastel artworks on the pavement of city streets. This event is organized by the Fredericksburg Art Commission and includes not only volunteer artists, but performers, food vendors and other extended celebrations – all coming together to support the arts education movements in the Fredericksburg area.

The streets (Sophia/Charlotte) will be tiled and each square will range in size. The squares are individually sponsored by local businesses, organizations, or other units and the proceeds after expenses are used towards art-based education programs in the Fredericksburg area community.

This year, PONSHOP owner Gabriel Pons will be the inaugural signature artist for the Fredericksburg Via Colori® festival. He will be recreating his piece “Neptune’s Daughter” – originally a spray paint and stencil image of an aquatic goddess with the sea swarming above her.


The original piece was constructed in February 2010 and was inspired by a Pixies song entitled “Mr. Grieves”, where the lyrics include: “…what’s that floating in the water, oh Neptune’s only daughter, I believe in Mr. Grieves.” Gabriel will be challenged to recreate this piece on a 10ft by 10ft pavement square, using a soft chalk pastel. In the weeks leading up to the event he will be strategizing in terms of just how to recreate this image in both a different media, method, and at a much larger scale. Below are some photos from the Via Colori® workshop held Saturday August 21. Via Colori® artist Curtis Goldstein gave a two-hour demonstration to participating artists. Volunteer artists had a chance to experiment with the unique medium of pastel chalk on a street surface.

Pons experimented with chalk pastels during the Via Colori workshop last month. (photo courtesy Leslie Brier)

Pons will be painting a 10ft x 10ft chalk mural during the event. (photo courtesy Leslie Brier)


Throughout the weekend, festival goers are invited to come downtown to explore and immerse themselves in the diversity of the Fredericksburg art community. Via Colori® will utilize Sophia street and Charlotte street for the event.

Progress Photos: The Upward Spiral...

I've been working on a public art piece for Downtown Fredericksburg. The "Beautify the Burg" project incorporates six local artists' work to be installed on Caroline Street (800 Block next to Bangkok Cafe). This project is made possible by a grant awarded to the Fredericksburg DRMI on behalf of a Public Arts initiative by the city's Department of Economic Development Authority, and the Fredericksburg Arts Commission.

Below is the progress of the 40"x56" panel I've been working on. The participating artists are Jay D. Anderson, Milvi Gill, Brandon Newton, Elizabeth Seaver, and Kristi Zerull.

The centrifugal writing are words both inspired by music lyrics and other things bouncing around in my head when I paint. I've been getting back into incorporating handwritten text - something I haven't done since my last sketchbook in 2008.

Classic Gabe Pons work process - spend all this time writing and then cover it up with paint...

I also cut a 2-layer stencil for the painting: a 36" round labyrinth pattern.

One of the PONSHOP summer interns, Sidney, helped me cut and "bridge" the stencils.

"Grasshopper #3" detail
So What does the finished painting look like? come to the public unveiling on Friday July 2 at 6pm.