Ruby C. William's Produce Stand Ruby Williams (1928 - 2022)
About the Artist/Site
Ruby C. Williams’ produce stand off of highway 60 in Florida gained its popularity from selling more than just strawberries and collard greens. Williams’ colorful hand-painted signs attracted the attention of local artist and collector Rodney Hardee who purchased one of Williams’ advertising signs in the early nineties. Williams began steadily accumulating a fan-base of collectors and folk-art enthusiasts who encouraged the artist to pursue her art more actively. Williams branched out from her sign painting, moving from signs and produce labels towards images of animals and people, typically including a phrase of some kind, adding Williams’ commentary and voice to each painting.
Williams’ style is defined by her flat use of color outlined by a stark black contour, frequently accompanied by stippled applications of acrylic paint to add texture to a painting. Her paintings gained such popularity that in 1997, one woman exhibition of Williams’ work was shown at the Polk Museum of Art in Lakeland, Florida. In 2005, Williams was one of six artists featured in the Smithsonian Anacostia Community Museum’s exhibition “On Their Own: Selected Works by Self-Taught African American Artists.” In honor of her impact on the folk art community, Williams received an “Award of Distinction” from the Folk Art Society of America in 2009. Williams passed away in 2022, but her work remains a fan-favorite in museums and galleries around the country.
~Nikki Ranney, 2023
Sellen, Betty-Carol. Self-taught, outsider and folk art: A guide to american artists, locations and resources. Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers, 2016.
Map & Site Information
Bealsville, FL us
Latitude/Longitude: 27.9455797 / -82.0795304
Bealsville, FL, United States
c. late 1980s-2022
Safety Harbor, Florida