Model Kit Marvels

Opening Reception:  Friday, July 1, 6-10pm                 Exhibition Dates: July 1 - 31, 2016

PONSHOP Studio and Gallery is pleased to announce their seventh community art exhibition in July of 2016, “Model Kit Marvels.” The gallery will feature custom-painted model kits supplied by the New York-based company, Boundless Brooklyn, and adorned by over forty innovative artists from across the United States. The opening reception is Friday, July 1 from 6-10pm.

“Model Kit Marvels” is PONSHOP’s first partnership with Boundless Brooklyn, as well as PONSHOP’s first exhibit solely featuring three-dimensional artwork. Artists selected from three model kits: The New York City Water Tower, the Skateboard Half Pipe Ramp, or the Billboard Structure. The main event is the art exhibition, but PONSHOP will also be hosting a Do-It-Yourself Model Kit workshop from 6-8pm in the classroom during the opening reception and, weather permitting, their garden space will open for guests and artists.

Gallery co-owner Gabriel Pons comments, “The Boundless Brooklyn kits have been a great educational tool since we’ve been carrying them in our gallery last year.  I’ve used them as a means to educate our students in terms of architectural typology and historic precedent.  Painting them is a great design challenge for beginners and professionals alike.”

Featured Artists include: Crystal Rodrigue, Dolly Whitley, ELSTABO (NY), Gregg Deal (CO), HKS181 (DC), James Walker, Jeff Gulick, Jenna Andersen, Jenna Leigh Anderson, Jeremy Gann, Kevin Rodrigue, Leslie Brier, Maddie Huddle, Matt Corrado (MD), Rachel Hicks, Samantha Brodek, and Tim Rodgers Jr.

Participating Artists include: Andrew Sutherland, Bengi Baker, Dale Brown, Elaine B., Falynn Koch, George Meadows, Jamie Bronson, Jerome Golden, John Curtis, Joshua Colon, Kay Portmess, Kristine Oleson, Mark Mason, Mr. Mars, Morgan Buenos, Nico Cathcart, Nikolas Brown, Stephanie Woolsey, Yanina Angelini, Zach Barbieto, and Zane Brown.

Boundless Brooklyn is an innovative company established in New York by friends David and Terence. They provide easy-to-assemble model architecture kits that allow you to add your own personal flair. Made out of 100% recycled material, their easy-to-assemble kits pay homage to iconic structures in our urban environment including NYC’s classic water towers, billboards, and skateboard ramps to name a few. Learn more at

PONSHOP is a multifaceted storefront: an artist studio, gallery, retail store, and classroom.  The vision of the owners, Scarlett and Gabriel Pons, is to provide a place that embodies what they love: art, design, and creative education.  The gallery/shop features a variety of work from artists both near and far.  Their studio also doubles as a classroom, providing workshops for students interested in everything from painting, ceramics, and architecture to street art and skateboarding.

Five "High Fives": A Public Thank You


1. Thanks to our fans and clients who we have worked with over the years.  You help us to continue to innovate in our mediums and challenge us to raise the bar each and every time we take on a new project.

2. Thanks to all of the Artists that have contributed to our shop throughout the past five years.  We value the dedication and the caliber of work that we show here and we are proud to showcase your work as representative of our area’s rich culture.

3. High Fives to our past PONSHOP Students and Student Interns!  We’ve taught over 200 Art Classes in the past five years and it has been a rewarding experience to know that we’ve impacted so many kids and adults with our class programs.  The most gratifying aspect of teaching is watching our students mature and continue their trajectory in life with their creative interests.  Also, we value the collaborations we’ve shared with our local schools, churches and universities throughout the years.

4. Thanks to our fellow downtown business owners.  We’re confident that our city’s historic downtown is on an upward trajectory and will continue to inspire entrepreneurs and small business owners to follow their dreams in this city.  Our neighbors have become not only close friends, but colleagues and mentors alike.  We are grateful to open our doors next to such a motivated and driven individuals.

5. Finally ‘Gracias’ to our family, who have been a generous source of support from the day we arrived in Fredericksburg back in 2005.  Thank You for helping us literally build our business brick by brick.

PONSHOP Five Year Anniversary Celebration

Opening Reception:  Friday, June 5, 6-10pm PONSHOP Studio and Gallery celebrates their Five-Year Anniversary On “First Friday” June 5, 2015. Gallery Owners Scarlett and Gabriel Pons will be showcasing their latest work in the gallery including ceramics, fine art and two new t-shirt designs. The garden space of the gallery is where the party will be staged: DJ Moog will be spinning on the turntables with refreshments catered by Caroline Street’s newest coffee shop, Agora Downtown.

PONSHOP has built their business around the central philosophy of community engagement and promoting the value of growing a local economy through creativity and culture. The majority of their shop has always been stocked with ceramics, jewelry, accessories and fine art from Fredericksburg and the surrounding regions. In keeping with the entrepreneurial history of downtown Fredericksburg, the owners feel it is important that local artists have a space to hone their craft and also market their products. Since opening in the spring of 2010, PONSHOP has hosted over sixty consecutive First Friday Art Openings including over a dozen juried and community art exhibits including The Art of Recovery and the Remixed Vinyl RecordShow. Each of these events builds upon the sense of pride for the downtown and offers a venue for artists and the public to connect. Art classes have also been an integral part of PONSHOP with Scarlett and Gabriel, as well as local artists, Leslie Brier and Ashleigh Burbidge teaching workshops throughout the year. Art Workshops enrich the lives of both children and adults and create an environment for artists to build confidence in their skills and meet other like-minded individuals. Scarlett and Gabriel Pons cordially invite you in celebrating their Five-Year Anniversary this “First Friday” in June.

April Spring Party and VA Organizing 20-Year Anniversary Event


PONSHOP Studio and Gallery is excited to announce our April “First Friday” event on April 3, from 6-10pm. PONSHOP ushers in spring with an opening art reception featuring fine art and jewelry in the gallery including new ceramic work by Scarlett Pons.  Featured Fine Artists include Ronald Jackson and Brooklyn’s own Elstabo.

That evening, PONSHOP is proud to host Virginia Organizing in our garden space to celebrate their twenty-year anniversary. Virginia Organizing is an association dedicated to challenging injustice by empowering people in local communities to address issues that affect the quality of their lives. The “Latin Dance Night” fundraiser will feature salsa lessons, music and refreshments. ($20 donation).  Click Here for Tickets.

February First Friday Opening Reception

Opening Reception:PONSHOP Studio and Gallery is excited to announce our February “First Friday” event on February 6, from 6-10pm.  We are proud to introduce the addition of two new jewelers to our shop: Anné Harrill of Océanne Jewelry Designs and Fredericksburg native, Devin Ashton Designs. February features a wide selection of artisan jewelry in anticipation for Valentine’s Day, with works from over a dozen jewelers in a variety of materials.  Lisa Latendress created a Valentine-themed charmed necklace incorporating semi precious stones.  Leslie Brier fashioned “Lover’s Eye Tokens”  - a modern day take on an 18th century accessory celebrating mystery and romance.

PONSHOP is offering a range of art classes for kids and adults throughout the month.  Scarlett Pons is holding a “Couple’s Clay Class” on Valentine’s Day as a special event for sweethearts willing to get their hands dirty and have fun.  There is also the return of the PONSHOP Academy for kids as well as a Vintage Floral Resin Pendant Workshop taught by Leslie Brier.  Click Here for the complete class schedule.

December Holiday Show: Introducing The Fredericksburg City Hall Ceramic Lantern

City-Hall-Lantern02_web Our First Friday Holiday Show will include new ceramic work by PONSHOP co-owner Scarlett Pons, who will debut her "City Hall" illuminated lantern, the second in her "Fredericksburg Skyline" series - a scale miniature of Fredericksburg's original City Hall building at Market Square, currently occupied by the Fredericksburg Area Museum. This series is limited to 10 editions and available exclusively at PONSHOP ($399).  Join Us, Friday December 5 (6-10pm).

Fourth Annual PONSHOP Jewelry Show

2014 Jewelry Show Sneak Peek and DIY Jewelry Workshop:  Thursday, November 6, 6-8pm

Opening Reception:  Friday, November 7, 6-10pm

Weekend Trunk Show: Friday Through Sunday, November 9

Exhibition Dates: November 6 – 30, 2014

PONSHOP Studio and Gallery is pleased to announce that they will be hosting the fourth annual jewelry show for the month of November showcasing the work of eleven jewelry artists.  The opening reception is scheduled for Friday, November 7 from 6-10pm.

The jewelry exhibit features the works from our favorite local jewelers: Leslie Brier, Terresa Buelow, Jodi Habel, K Tuna Creations, Lisa Latendress, and Trish Schornagel. In addition, the show includes regional and national artists Elaine B, Lawrence Butler, Matthew Cirello and Jasmine Lee as AMORDIVIN, Marstinia Enamel Designs and Daphne Olive.

Get a jump on your holiday shopping!  Bring a friend and enjoy an intimate evening with refreshments at PONSHOP during their “Sneak Peek” jewelry event on Thursday, November 6 from 6-8pm.  The first ten shoppers to purchase $40 or more will receive a complimentary ceramic jewelry dish made by Scarlett Pons.  In addition, Charlottesville jeweler Elaine B will be hosting a Do-It–Yourself Jewelry design workshop.  Fashion your own necklace using her signature geometric shapes and a variety of semi precious stones collected locally and abroad. This workshop is casual and open to all interested. RSVP is requested, not required – email ($50 fee)

The evening of First Friday will kick off a special “Weekend Trunk Show” featuring Daphne Olive (Maryland) and Elaine B (Charlottesville, VA) with light food and refreshments and music provided by Mike DJ.  To celebrate Fredericksburg’s Holiday Open House event that weekend, the trunk show will run through Sunday, November 9.

The gallery walls will include a group exhibition of featured PONSHOP artists including Nicholas Candela, Adam Desio, Crystal and Kevin Rodrigue, Gabriel Pons and more.

PONSHOP is a multifaceted storefront: an artist studio, gallery, retail store, and classroom.  The vision of the owners, Scarlett and Gabriel Pons, is to provide a place that embodies what they love: art, design, and creative education.  The gallery/shop features a variety of work from artists both near and far.  Their studio also doubles as a classroom, providing workshops for students interested in everything from painting, ceramics, and architecture to street art and skateboarding.  “We Don’t Buy Gold or Guns, We Sell Art.”

2014 Art Attack Fredericksburg: September 13 (10am-4pm)

Art-Attack-Logo-2014_web We are excited to announce the Third Annual Art Attack event.  For one day, over seventy local artists of Fredericksburg will be demonstrating their talent on the sidewalks of Caroline and William Street in the city’s historic district.   Art Attack is a grassroots event organized by local artists to encourage the exposure, promotion, and celebration of Fredericksburg’s vibrant art community.  From 10am-4pm, participating artists will take to the streets with live art demonstrations ranging in painting and ceramics to mosaic art and dance.


This year, Whurk Magazine is contributing by promoting Art Attack and organizing the “soldiers” during the day of the event.  LibertyTown Arts Workshop will be hosting the Artists’ Picnic immediately following the event at 4pm.  The “recruits” of Art Attack will be on their tour of duty throughout the Caroline Street corridor between Amelia and Charlotte Street (700 Block thru 1000 Block) and William Street between Sophia and Princess Anne (100 block thru 300 block).

Visit the Art Attack Facebook Page for updates and more.

The Art Attack Show: Juried Exhibit

Art-Attack-Show-Logo-2014_webPONSHOP is excited to announce The Art Attack Show – a juried exhibit featuring artists that are taking part in the third annual “Art Attack” event taking place on Saturday, September 13 2014 from 10am-4pm on Caroline Street in Fredericksburg’s historic district. “Art Attack” is a grassroots event organized by local artists to encourage the exposure, promotion, and celebration of Fredericksburg’s vibrant art community. The effort of The Art Attack Show is to highlight those artists who have volunteered to participate in the 2014 Art Attack event by exhibiting their work in the PONSHOP Gallery throughout the entire month.

The show will feature artwork from: Amy Bayne, Elena Broach, Collette Caprara, James Clark, Beverly Coates, Carol Coffman, Laura Craig, Mary Lou Cramer, Charles Fromer, Tanya Green, Iryna Hamill, Bill Harris, Newell Jones, Eric May, Judy Lowman, Lorie McCown, Sam McCown, Elizabeth Seaver, and Wendy Atwell-Vasey.  Join us on the “First Friday” of September for the opening reception of The Art Attack Show to view the breadth of work contributed by this year’s Art Attack artists.

July Exhibit: Fredericksburg-All Around the Town by Kathleen Walsh

Rappahannock-Blue_web PONSHOP studio is pleased to present Fredericksburg-All Around the Town a solo exhibition of works by local artist Kathleen Walsh.  From July 11 – July 31 Walsh’s oil paintings will be on view at PONSHOP studio with an opening reception on July 11 from 6-10 pm.

Walsh’s works reveal a dialogue between an artist and her surroundings. Her instinctual layering of paint and gestural marks portray a poetic back-and-forth with nature. Whether Walsh paints plein air or in-studio, her works emphasize an immediacy or nowness, which furthermore describes her way for life. With this body of work, viewers witness an indulgence of the moment.

Exhibition Dates: July 11-31, 2014

Opening Reception: Friday, July 11 from 6-10pm

Call for Artists: "Remixed 2" Vinyl Album Art Show

Remixed-2-promo_01_webPONSHOP Studio and Gallery will be hosting its fifth community art exhibition in August of 2014. We’ve rescued stacks of old Christmas records, wiped the dust off and, with your help, will turn them into something that people actually enjoy– a fun work of art.  "Remixed 2" is a follow up to our "Remixed" Vinyl Album Art Show in June of 2013 which included over sixty vinyl albums from over 25 participating artists. Click Here for the Complete Prospectus and Entry Form.

Spinning at 33 1/3 rpm

Here’s how the show works: once you pay the entry fee, we provide you with up to three ready-to-hang vinyl albums (the fee is $12 per record, or $30 for three). You have until July 27 to turn your Jane Fonda Workout album into a work of art, which will be exhibited throughout the month of August. The theme and medium are up to you, but there is one rule: each record is mounted on wood block with hanging wire and must stay mounted in order to be suitable for display on our gallery walls.


This exhibit is open to all artists (professional and emerging) in the Virginia/DC/Maryland Region.

Submission Requirements

All artists must use the pre-mounted vinyl albums (provided when you pay the entry fee) and all work must be for sale. Submit your best work!  The gallery reserves the right to reject submissions based on quality: uniqueness and creativity, craftsmanship and execution.  Entries must be original creations of the artist – no reproductions of others artwork.  See examples of the pre-mounted albums below:

Entry Specifications

PONSHOP retains 40% of all sales on works exhibited throughout the duration of the exhibit.  Artists will be reimbursed within 30 days of the exhibition closing.  Artists are responsible for acquiring insurance on their own artwork.  Although PONSHOP will take great care in the hanging and display of artwork, the gallery will not be held responsible for items on exhibit.

Entry Procedure

Entry fee: $12 per vinyl album, or $30 for three (up to three submissions).  Artists pay fee and retrieve ready-to-hang vinyl albums from PONSHOP.  Please complete entry form when returning the work.

Delivery: Artists are responsible for transporting their work to and from the gallery. Please keep in mind that during the summer months, vinyl records will warp if stored in a parked automobile! Artwork not retrieved after show closing will incur a storage fee of $10 per day


Deadline for Submissions: Saturday, July 26 (10-6pm) Sunday, July 27 (noon-5pm).  *Please Deliver ONLY  between Friday July 25 and Sunday the 27th.

Pick Up of Unaccepted Work: Tuesday, July 29 (10-6pm)

Opening Reception: Friday, August 1 (6-10pm)

Exhibition Dates: August 1-30, 2014

Pick up of Work: Sunday, August 31 (noon-5pm)

If you have any questions regarding this show or would like to be included on the mailing list for notice of future exhibition opportunities, please contact us at event[at]

Save The Date May 6, 2014: The Community GIVE

CommunityGive_web PONSHOP encourages you to "Give" to The Fredericksburg Main Street Initiative on May 6, 2014 (midnight-11:59pm)! Go to, to donate to Fredericksburg Main Street Initiative whose mission is to promote, preserve and enhance our Downtown through education, promotion and organization, in accordance with the practices of the National Trust's Main Street Program. View Fredericksburg's Community Give promotional video below.  Dollars raised go towards building a better downtown.  Thanks in advance for your support! Please share with your family and friends who value our historic city.


Tenth Annual Art of Recovery Exhibit Announced

Recovery-2014_web-03The Rappahannock Area Community Services Board (RACSB) is pleased to announce the Tenth Annual “The Art of Recovery” art show opening Friday, May 2, 2014 from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at PONSHOP Studio and Gallery located at 712 Caroline Street in downtown Fredericksburg. The exhibit features original artwork of adults with mental illness. The show is organized by members of Kenmore Club, a psychosocial rehabilitation program operated by RACSB. The exhibit coincides with National Mental Health Month and will be on display through May 26, 2014. “The Art of Recovery” show will feature approximately 60 pieces representing several art mediums. Artwork includes original drawings, paintings, three-dimensional artwork (ceramics), textiles, and mixed media.  All of the pieces will be available for purchase.

To correspond with the First Friday opening on May 2, 2014, there will be spoken word, poetry, and live music in the gallery’s rear courtyard at 7:00 p.m.

The Art of Recovery provides a forum for artists living with mental illness to gain confidence in their abilities, address misconceptions surrounding mental illness, and experience community support. To learn more, visit

Register Now for Spring and Summer Classes at PONSHOP

spring-summer-classes_webThis spring and summer, PONSHOP is offering workshops for children and adults in: Ceramics, Skateboard Graphics, Street Art, Collage and more!  We now offer classes in Video and Film Making, Jewelry Design, and Stitching plush toys! New this season is a Clay and Paint Combo Workshop on April 22 and August 18. Get the best of both Art Worlds with PONSHOP owners Scarlett and Gabriel Pons in this exclusive double-header class. If you've already taken a series of classes with us and want to continue your project, simply take an additional class and pay per session.
Our Summer Camp Format of consecutive daily classes begins June 24 with Skate to Create.  Below are examples from our student workshops.
Children learn the basics of hand-building techniques in Children's Clay taught by PONSHOP owner, Scarlett Pons ($75 for three 1-hour sessions)
Creature Feature, taught by Leslie Brier, incorporates collage techniques and found objects  create a creature sculpture that expresses their style.
Skate to Create is one of the most popular classes and with good reason - where else can you custom paint your own skateboard deck? ($100 for three 1.5-hour sessions)
Make your own "Snuggle Monster" with Ashleigh Burbidge this spring and summer.  Students learn basic needle threading and stitching to make their own cute creature ($30 for one 1.5 hour session).
You don't have to have any experience for our Adult Stencil and Mixed Media Class.  Students learn collage and stencil techniques in casual evening sessions ($90 for three 1.5 hour classes)
You can view more photos from our past Summer Class Sessions Here.
Click Here for our full schedule and Registration Form.

December Small Works Show Announced

2013_December Promo_web_03PONSHOP Studio and Gallery is excited to celebrate the holidays with their annual small works show in December.  The opening reception will be “First Friday” December 6, from 6-10pm. This year’s small works show will include new ceramic work by PONSHOP co-owner Scarlett Pons, who has created Fredericksburg themed mugs, Ramen bowls and ceramic ornaments in a variety of colors and patterns. Gabriel Pons will be releasing his latest T-shirt designs: the Octopus (green and white) and the “Hip Hop Origins” Tee.  The gallery is also filled with new work from nine jewelers, four t-shirt vendors as well as handmade home accessories from local artists.  Gift inspirations include limited edition art prints, custom painted skateboards, comic book wallets and plush toys.

The gallery walls will include a group show of small works by featured PONSHOP artists including: Cameron Limbrick, Adam Desio, Steven Graham, Julie Maida, Crystal and Kevin Rodrigue, Stacey Schultze and James Walker.

For our customer’s convenience, PONSHOP will have extended holiday hours Friday and Saturday from 10am–8pm, Sunday noon–5pm, and Monday through Thursday from 10am–6pm.

Exhibition Dates: December 6–31, 2013

Live in Art Show at Amelia Square: Photos

2013-Amelia-Square_web_02Saturday, November 9 was the opening reception for the "Live in Art" show at Amelia Square.  Below is a photo gallery of the exhibition which will be open through Sunday, December 8.  Thanks to all of our participating artists as well as Simply Home, Coldwell Banker Cyber Elite and Impressions for their contributions in making this event such a success.  View the Artist List and Click Here for more about the Live in Art show.

"Remixed": Opening Reception, June 7 2013

Remixed_Opening26_web “Remixed” was PONSHOP’s fourth community art exhibition featuring original artwork using vinyl albums as a canvas. The exhibit included thirty-six local and regional artists all working in this non-traditional medium. Remixed runs through June 30, 2013.

Gallery owner Gabriel Pons has been using 12” vinyl records as his canvas for three years. When a friend offered him a crate of old records, he saw the potential of using the standardized discs in an art show where each participant “repurposes” the old albums and turns them into art.  A Call for artists was issued in April and interested artists from students to professionals registered and received their albums to adorn.  The opening reception included musical entertainment from DJ Climax, spinning on the turntables.  Thanks to all of our artists who participated for this exhibition and thanks to our fans and friends who came out to see the show.

Featured Artists for the “Remixed” Show are: Gregg Deal, Matt Corrado, Rob Landeck, Adam Desio, Stephen Graham, Jack Labadie, Julie Maida, Nick Candela, Crystal Rodrigue, Jeff Gulick and Nina Angelini.

Participating Artists include: Sue Henderson, Stacey Schultze, Sandy Skipper, Lois Skipper, Alex Rudenshiold, Guerin Wolf , Jayden Gilhousen, Zakk Davis, Amina Shafi, Nina Jot Prakashkaur, Cameron Limbrick, Toy Fowler, Ronald Jackson, Mirinda Reynolds, Erin Stephens, Sidney Mullis, Joshua K Rama, Mark Eyestone, Kelly Penick, Mark Manjarrez, Sean Woodard, Elizabeth Carter, Frank Woodley, Josie Yorgeson, Ed King, and Malik Malek.

PONSHOP 2012 G40 Installation: Hip-Hop Meditation Station

"Hip-Hop Meditation Station" ceramics, and mixed media panels, 72" diameter x 60" height suspended installation, $8,000 USD. On exhibit at the 2012 G40 Summit hosted by Art Whino.  This installation can be reconfigured to accommodate a variety of spaces, contact us to inquire about design variations.

Scarlett and I are excited to be participating in the 2012 G40 Summit in Richmond, Virginia.  Honestly, this has been the most ambitious project that we've collaborated on to date and we're proud to be exhibiting it in this month-long exhibition.  Below are some pictures showing the progress of creating the ceramic forms (a total of 166) as well as installing the piece in the space at 101 West Broad Street.

The installation, titled "Hip-Hop Meditation Station" is a visual chronicle of the Hip-Hop culture, charting each of the four elements of Hip-Hop (DJing, MCing, B-Boying and Graffiti Art) throughout the course of the time.  Each art panel charts the trajectory of Hip-Hop's progression by listing those who have impacted the movement through their involvement.  This chronology is by no means complete, but offers up a brief history lesson for younger generations on the birth of an American art form that went on to in influence the world.

The G40 Summit opens Friday April 6, 2012 and includes over 500 artists as well as several recent large-scale outdoor murals by international artists. The G40 Event runs through the month of April with a closing party on May 4,2012.  For more information, visit Art Whino.

Special Thanks to Art Whino and RVA Magazine for hosting the 2012 G40 event.  Also PONSHOP would like to thank our collaborators and student interns for their assistance throughout the past two months:  Crystal and Kevin Rodrigue of Rodrigue Studios for their design/build consultation, Adriana Christesen, Jasmine Lee, Sidney Mullis and Janet Hahn for their research and studio support, Jeff Gulick for the on-site installation assistance and Christopher Stuart for video work.

PONSHOP Featured Artist Interview: Joshua Barber

PONSHOP is excited to be featuring the work of Joshua Barber in the gallery this month. Scarlett and I have known Joshua since 1997 and it's amazing to see his growth as an artist over the years. PONSHOP Intern Sarah Dawes conducted an interview with Barber and discussed the work he has featured at the PONSHOP. We also gained some insight on his overall artistic style and influences.

Joshua Barber is a painter of contemporary icons and landscapes. Having received his BFA cum laude from Appalachian State University, Barber has exhibited his work in New York, Los Angeles, London, and Bristol. Barber uses hand-weathered paper and wood as a medium for much of his work, as well as acrylic with oil and pencil detailing. Many of his stylized figures are reflective of the religious artwork Barber explored on his trip to Jerusalem, Jordan and Egypt in 2000. Capturing a nocturnal sense of memories and figures, Barber’s work is often characterized as darkly humorous and dreamlike. He has been selected for the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts’ auction for three consecutive years.

Joshua Barber is the son of notable maritime artist John Barber, who is widely-known for his paintings of the Chesapeake Bay. In his youth, Joshua Barber was known to accompany his father in his studio or on excursions around the Chesapeake to find painting locations. Today, both artists are featured in the Barber Gallery at Gallery 5800 in Richmond.

"Hook, Line, and Naughty Sinker" Mixed Media on Wood, 15"x18"

Q: When and how did you start developing an interest in art?
A: It really started at a very early age. One of my favorite memories was in 1st or 2nd grade, when my elementary school put together a cookbook with recipes from the teachers and artwork from selected students. I was chosen to represent my class because of my interest in art. I remember drawing a very happy smiley faced shrimp.
I got pulled out of class and sent into a room to do my special drawings solo. There was a sense of power that I felt from that experience. It wasn't necessarily a feeling of being gifted or popular, but more realizing, "Suckers! You have to do cursive handwriting when I get to draw." I found my shortcut and used and abused that mindset till I graduated from art school.

Q: What kinds of places have you lived in or visited that have then had a strong effect on your style and perspective?
A: The places I've visited have trumped the places I've lived. There is a certain vulnerability in being an outsider visiting someone else's home that I have found very inspirational. My main inspiration for my modern icons came from visiting places like Israel, Jordan and Egypt and seeing how much history is a part of everyday life. From the Middle East, I took away the sacred quality of beauty that illuminates the image and the story. On the flip side, I lived in the U.K. for a short period of time and picked up the idea of having an aggressive sense of humor and the pride to produce truly original work. Inspiration is always around. Virginia is my home.

Q: You have your hands in a lot of different creative media. When we first met in 1997, you were playing a lot of music, and studying graphic design. How does this multifaceted approach influence/inform your creative process?
A: I like making stuff, whether it's a collection of paintings or chocolate chip pancakes. I've never understood the concept of "being a jack of all trades, but master of none." To me that's like saying that I understand the world, but I've never left the country. From a conceptual side, understanding the crescendo of a song or the climax of a documentary only enhances the creation of a painting. A painting is a multi-faceted piece of work that demands a beginning and end to its story.
From a business perspective, I would encourage young artists who are stepping into the game to get savvy with their promotional skills. No matter how good you are, where you're from, who you know, etc., you have to represent your work well. That is key.

"Can You Do The Birthday Cake?", Mixed Media on Wood, 9"x11"

Q: You and your father show work together at Gallery 5800 in Richmond. Can you tell us a little bit about the gallery and your association?
A: My father and I had an exhibition together in October 2009 titled, "Barber vs. Barber." My father John Barber, in my opinion and others', is one of the best contemporary realism painters in America today. His use of color, light and technique is extraordinary. My iconic work was starkly different and gaining momentum in galleries throughout the U.K. We decided that exhibiting together would be a great collaboration as father and son and it resulted in a very powerful show. The best comment that was made about the "Barber vs. Barber" show was, "I have my money on Barber." That was one of the proudest nights of my life. We are both represented by Gallery 5800.

Q: Can you briefly touch on some of the common themes in your artwork?
A: I bookend my work with happiness and depression and let everything else fall in between. Life is complicated for every single human being on the planet, and I find that simple fact beautiful and unifying.
Everyone wakes up in the middle of the night with racing thoughts and no one holds a golden ticket. I like to chronicle everything I experience and let my work amplify my fears, dreams and hopes.

Q: Why do you choose to work with the media used in your work? How do you think this enhances your work in ways that other methods could not?
A: Experimentation. I have shot paintings with shotguns, splattered them with bleach from a toothbrush, buried pieces in the backyard and dipped them in month-old coffee. I would say in the last ten years, six or seven out of fifty experiments actually worked. It was fun though.
Now, I do have a "secret formula" to how I create my pieces that leaves the audience guessing. I find great pride in that. I also heavily respect painters who use a traditional method of oil, acrylic, watercolors etc. It simply didn't work for me, so I had to create a witches' brew for me to be satisfied.

"Look, I See What You Mean From A Totally Different Point of View", Mixed Media on Wood, 9"x11"

Q: Your artwork has unique and often times humorous titles. The title, “Hook, Line and Naughty Sinker” evokes some giggles from our patrons when they read it. Can you touch upon the relationship between the images and titles and how they can influence one another?
A: It kills me when I see a beautiful painting by an artist titled ironically, "untitled." Paintings are layered as much as thoughts behind them. My work is based on connecting with people. Being obscure or above the audience is boring to me. I want people to understand the painting, with a little bit of a love nudge, and then everything is open to interpretation.

Q: Your current show “all the ways i’m leaving you” runs until October 31 at Gallery 5800. Give us an overview of the show and what you’d like the viewer to take with them.
A: "all the ways i'm leaving you" was an exploration into kinetic landscapes which represent the moments and the decisions made before a true story begins. The collection was actually a challenge for me to create. I worked this year on several specific paintings for commissions and auctions, which is how I prefer to paint, but it's so rewarding to be able to step back and see a unified collection.
I wanted every viewer to take a second, erase the world and relate to these moments on their own terms. I'm proud that the red-wagon piece, "i'll show you yours and you show me mine," went to a collector who said it "captured his childhood." It doesn't get any better than that.

You can view more of Joshua Barber's work on

Fredericksburg Via Colori® 2010

photo (above) courtesy Jay D Anderson

September 25-26, 2010: The first annual Via Colori Fredericksburg event hit the downtown last weekend. There were dozens of artists that used the pavement as their canvas for this two-day celebration. Although Sunday morning's rain set us back a little, we managed to pull off a 100 square foot mural by Sunday afternoon. Below is a sequence of the painting. I'll be posting more photos of the other artists' pieces soon - so stay tuned.

In order to recreate the "Neptune's Daughter" image, I chalked up a 10'x10' grid to enlarge the graphic.

By lunchtime on Saturday, we had mapped out most of the line work.

The family stopped by for a quick critique and some ice cream.

End of day Saturday: my assistant Jeff covered the piece with a tarp to prevent from wind. Little did we know that we'd get an early morning shower...

Following the rain, we were able to resume by 1:30 Sunday. Diego pitched in too.

This was my first time using chalk pastels on such a rugged surface. I really enjoyed the last day, since we were able to experiment with colors and gradients.

On Sunday, some of the PONSHOP fans stepped up to help finish.

Thanks to fans and family for their help (left to right): Jeff, Jessica, Big D and Kevin.

Congratulations to all the participating artists. Thanks to the Via Colori event organizers and all volunteers. The weekend proved to be one of the most exciting and memorable events for our city and the Fredericksburg art community. To view more pictures, visit Via Colori Fredericksburg on Facebook. Click Here to view the feature article on Via Colori in the Freelance Star.