Fans of painter and icon of chill Bob Ross—the bearded PBS host with the Chia Pet hairdo, ASMR voice, and penchant for bucolic nature scenes—can now visit the studio where he presided over The Joy of Painting, which aired from 1983 to 1994. (Ross died the next year.)
Most of the instructional series was recorded at the WIPB public broadcasting station in the Lucius L. Ball House in Muncie, Indiana. The building is currently part of the Minnetrista complex, a 40-acre campus founded by the Ball Corporation (of Ball jar fame) and now encompassing nature areas, historic sites, and spaces for community events.
The Bob Ross Experience, which had its unveiling at the end of October, is a permanent exhibit re-creating the broadcast studio in its original location, with vintage cameras, The Joy of Painting playing on monitors, and displays of Ross's art and artifacts.
Those include the crucial tools of his trade: brushes, palette, easel, and hair pick.
(Photo courtesy of the Minnetrista Heritage Collection)
In other parts of the exhibit, you'll find a replica of a typical 1980s living room (behold the boxiness of a Reagan-era TV!), gallery space for temporary art exhibits, and painting workshops led by instructors promoting Ross's positive ethos of "happy little accidents."
The Bob Ross Experience is open Wednesday through Sunday. Admission costs $15 for out-of-towners. Tickets are timed and should be purchased in advance at Minnetrista.net.