"Promise" Art Installation at Hartwood Elementary School


Gabriel Pons was commissioned by Hartwood Elementary School to create a 27 foot-long mural for their administrative office that embodies the “spirit” of the school. Above is a time lapse video showing the process from start to finish.

The mural reads:

“We are a community of dedicated and determined teachers who believe that students thrive in an environment that is inclusive, safe, purposeful, respectful, collaborative, engaging, and responsive.

Kids come first in our family and we strive for a stimulating learning experience that provides young minds with a creative spark and a nurturing environment where they can excel as children and be free to explore on their own or as a team all that our world has to offer. Curiosity, tenacity, empathy coupled with a supportive, hard-working and hands-on curriculum is key to cultivating success. We are invested in our future and believe that enduring relationships are built upon a foundation of trust, honesty, respect, patience, devotion, and charity.  Students are encouraged to grow together and learn from one another as an integrated community devoted to exploring science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics, traveling the world and understanding our place in history because we are the future.”

PONSHOP extends are thanks to the faculty and staff of Hartwood Elementary for their sustained efforts in making Hartwood Elementary such a stimulating, incusive and engaging school.

"Vivify" Mural Commission - Photos

2013-Vivify-Progress021_webBelow is a chronology of the outdoor mural commission I completed for Vivify Burger & Lounge in Fredericksburg, Virginia.  I worked with the clients (who also own Bistro Bethem across the street) to produce a custom painting that embodied the charge of the new eatery. The concept sketch basically sent me on the path of formalizing my idea for Vivify.  "Vivify" means to bring movement and life to something.  The owners' goal is to host a space that pulses with the energy of the city's downtown, and that is also reflected by the tastes and smells from the eatery and lounge.  What better way  to express the vibrance of the lounge than  in a colorful "canopy" of words.  The piece turned into a family crest of sorts and incorporated the Bethem's names around the center.

The rear of the restaurant opens up to a two-story patio space with stairs leading to a roof deck which provides a great view of the city.  I was excited to work on such rich and fun project this summer.  Thanks to the Bethem family for the opportunity and thanks to my assistant, Jeff Gulick, for his consistent help throughout.

2013 G40 Art Summit: September 13-October 6

Friday, September 13th kicks off a month-long series of art events for the 2013 G40 Art Summit in Washington, DC (734 1st St SW 20024).  Gabriel Pons joins hundreds of other lowbrow and contemporary artists from around the nation in this annual event organized by Art Whino.  Art Whino will be teaming up with Suite Nation to present a month-long, multi-experiential Art Summit with musical performances and large scale murals in DC.  This year’s theme is the “Art of Transformation” and the exploration of reclaimed spaces and objects.  The location of this year’s summit is in a nineteenth-century church which has been vacant for twenty years.  The site will be an all encompassing art experience with every inch of the space covered with works of art. For a complete list of events, visit the Art Whino website
Gabe's piece for the show, titled "Una Barca", was constructed from sheets of plywood recovered from their former "stage" at PONSHOP built for the Public/Private group show in 2011.  The original inspiration for the piece came from the biblical story of Moses who, as a baby, was placed in a raft and sent adrift on the Nile to escape the wrath of the Egyptian Pharaoh who ordered all newborn Hebrew boys to be killed.  This narrative sparked an interest in creating a piece that spoke to the present day condition of refugees around the world and the quiet potential of a child.
Una Barca, mixed media on wood, 16"x42"
"Una Barca" , mixed media on wood, 16"x42"

2012 G40 part 4: Murals

Below are some pics from my last visit to Richmond during April's G40 Summit.  We had a chance to check out a handful of the recent murals painted  throughout the city by the likes of Angru Woebots, Pixel Pancho, Lelo, and Gaia to name a few.  Enjoy!

"Illumination" Video Sequence


Here's the follow up to the photos posted last month while I was working on this commissioned painting for Hartwood Presbyterian Church.  The piece, titled "Illumination" now hangs in the Fellowship Hall of the church.  Thanks Hartwood Presbyterian Church for the opportunity and thanks to my assistant, Jeff Gulick for helping me install the three panels.  Special Thanks to our Spring 2012 intern, Chris Stuart, for editing the video footage.

Into the New Year: Commission Project

We're hitting the ground running at the shop for 2012.  Scarlett and I are busy planning our calendar for this year and getting back into the studio after a holiday break.  Below is a sequence of a commissioned piece I'm working on for Hartwood Presbyterian Church.  This 12-foot long triptych will be installed in their  fellowship hall.  I'm taking advantage of the sunny mild days of January to push it to completion...

PONSOP offers the service of custom commissioned work in painting and ceramics.  Contact us if interested in collaborating with us for your next project.

Working Harder Than Ever...

May 10, 2011: I'm so excited to be part of the 2011 G40 Art Show in Washington DC. Here are some progress pics of the work. (Big shout out to Jeff who assisted me this week). Opening Party is Friday May 20. Be There! I'm on the third floor...Check the Info Below for more...

PONSHOP Owner Gabriel Pons is excited to announce that he is particpating in the 2011 G40 Art Show in Washington DC this month. He's been invited as part of the art installation group microWave project.

National Harbor's premiere contemporary gallery Art Whino returns in 2011 for the second edition of G40. The G40 uncapped LIVE event is an unprecedented experience in the art world with its scale and caliber of artists from around the world. This year the summit comes to DC next to the U street corridor taking over an entire building and showcasing art on all of its floors.

Where: 2213 14th Street, NW, Washington DC 20009

G40 Exhibit Schedule:

May 20th - June 17th, 2011

Opening Party: Friday May 20th, 6pm

Open Hours:

Tuesday & Thursdays: 5 - 10pm

Fridays & Saturdays: noon - 11pm

Sundays: noon - 6pm

Mondays: Closed

More Commissioned Work

Admittedly, I've been a behind schedule on all the Blog Posts. My New Year's Resolution is to stay on top of it - but first I have to catch up. Below are some snapshots of a residential commission I completed in October. The client owns a traditional single-family home and wanted to juxtapose her half bathroom with the rest of the house's decor.

Her only criteria for the mural was that it includes imagery related to our fair city of Fredericksburg, and that it incorporates technology (she's a web designer by profession). Finally, she has a love for street art which is how this whole project got started.
I drew my inspiration from all the public restrooms I've visited throughout the years - where the walls are covered in writing. Most of the text incorporated in this mural came from some of my favorite hip hop lyrics.

Scarlett and I are happy to work with clients to create original artwork in both ceramics and painting. If interested commissioning work, contact us via the PONSHOP Website.

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.

August 2009: Mural Commission

August, 2009: I picked the hottest days of the year to get out there and do this mural commission in Falmouth, Virginia - but it was well worth it. Below are some images taken over that week. Thanks to our client, Professional Maintenance, and thanks to my assistant Jeff who whose help was exceptional. If interested in commissioning PONSHOP for any interior or exterior mural project - contact me here.

The completed piece....
Artists working to better their country through the construction and appreciation of art.

Mural Workshop: July 2009

July 13-17, 2009: The PONSHOP Student Mural Workshop was a great success. For one week, students had a chance to conceive and execute their ideas on a 12-foot by 8-foot canvas. Below is the (2 part) video chronicle of that week as well as some photos. Congratulations to all the students ( Ben, David, Finn, Johnny, and Jeff) as well as our photographer/videographers Allison and Zeph.

Part One:

Part Two:

From the PONSHOP class listing: "The mural is an effective way of bringing people together to create artwork that is intended for the public realm. This workshop will encourage students to work as a team to conceive and execute a large-scale mural. Imagination, self-expression, and cooperation are the keys to achieving this goal. Students will have access to explore a variety of media (acrylic paint, spray paint, stencils and collage) to adorn their collective wall."

For a current PONSHOP Class Schedule, Click Here

"FRESH" Workshop: May 28, 2009

May 28, 2009: I gave a Street Art Workshop at the Torpedo Factory to wrap up the month's "FRESH" exhibition at the Target Gallery. Below is an account of how the afternoon's project went. After the workshop, I participated in a round table discussion with Cory Stowers of Words Beats & Life and fellow artist Marissa Botelho about contemporary graffiti.

9 Door panels were donated to the target gallery for the project - one side included this "Exploit" graffiti piece.The other side of the doors were tagged up - this was to be our canvas...
Moments before the workshop began: Max and Jeff help keep things running smoothly...
The content of our collage was based on the life and legacy of civil rights hero Charles Houston - represented here in a 30"x40" cardboard stencil.
Students layered the existing panels using collage images and text and applying them with wheat paste.
As the panels filled with imagery, other students cut stencils.
6 Panels were taken outdoors to be hit up with spray paint and stencils.
I gave a brief demonstration on techniques and safety tips for using spray paint.
Students then took turns applying spray paint to their stencil designs.

After the panel discussion, participants were encouraged to tag the walls outside of the gallery.
The completed mural on display (click image to enlarge).
Some details (click image to enlarge).

Special thanks to the staff at the Target Gallery and Torpedo Factory. Thanks especially to the participating students for their enthusiasm and hard work. Scarlett and I also want to thank our PONSHOP crew - Jeff Gulick and Max Harvey for their help in assisting us that day.

Fredericksburg All Ages Anniversary Show, Sept. 2007

Saturday, September 8th 2007 marked the one year anniversary of The Fredericksburg All Ages Shows. The celebration took place at The Third Floor (810 Caroline St.) in downtown Fredericksburg and included music by Rocky's Revival, Statehood, Le Loup, and The Travis Morrison Hellfighters.
While bands played, I stepped up to the wall and painted an 8' by 4' canvas which was to be included in the raffle later that evening.
Special thanks to all of the Fredericksburg kids and University of Mary Washington students for making this a night to remember. Also, props go out to the Panta Rhei Project and Apple Music for all their efforts. Of course Mark Eyestone of Fred Skates pitched in and took all video and photos for me that evening too - muchas gracias. To learn more about the Fredericksburg All Ages shows (FAA), or to volunteer for future events, visit their MySpace Page.