Artist Victoria Webb has been interested in art all her life, drawing ever since “she was able to hold a pencil.”
The 65-year-old woman began “seriously painting” in her late 20s, and now it is her sole focus.
“I studied painting and color theory for about eight years with the Chatovs, portrait painters here in Atlanta, and had attended college (at Bradford College in Massachusetts) as a music major,” Webb said. “I ended up switching to art as my main focus after a hand injury.”
But the Gainesville Bus Shelter Art Project is the “first public art she’s engaged.”
The Bus Shelter Art Project is the installation of 15 pieces of art on bus shelters in the community, thanks to the city of Gainesville and Vision 2030 of the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce with help from the Quinlan Visual Arts Center.
“Art was selected in order to introduce artistic works which build on the Gainesville Connection brand of connecting people to family, friends, recreation, business, government, education, retail, nonprofits and places of importance,” according to a Quinlan news release. “Thematically and visually, works are focused on the connectivity of people to the community.”
Webb believes her pieces do just that.
“‘Moonrise’ and ‘Mirror of Beauty’ (the pieces that were selected) are both older and quite large paintings,” Webb said. “Both pieces were created in the context of relationship and friendship. So in that way they relate to community on a more intimate level.”
And the community and places she drives by inspire her artwork.
“I transpose what I see with nature and color into work, but really it’s focused on place,” Webb said. “So I’m really painting what I see from where I am. For most of my career, I’ve been concerned with development.”
Webb explained she also was drawn to the public art project, because she “likes the idea of art being accessible for everyone.”
“Many people are intimidated by galleries or they might never go into a museum,” she said. “So this is a case of the city bringing art to the people, like mobile libraries bringing books to rural communities.”
Therefore, Webb was “honored” that her art was selected, and she hopes the project will continue.
“I’m really excited about it,” she said. “I can’t wait to see it. I’m really honored to have the city choose my work. I’m aware of public art, but I wasn’t aware that Gainesville was getting involved and I think it’s great that they’re doing it. I wish that every city would do that,” she said. “I know that they got a grant to do this, so I hope that they get another grant next year. I’d love to get involved again.”