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Folk artist gets national attention

Published Oct. 18, 1995|Updated Oct. 4, 2005

A little more than a year ago, Ruby Williams took the Plant City art world by storm with her primitive paintings of people spouting Bible verse and ruminating Day-Glo cows.

Since then, Williams, who operates a fruit and vegetable stand in the east Hillsborough hamlet of Bealsville, has gone on to bigger things.

A show in Clayton, Ga. Write-ups in underground folk-art magazines. A trip to New York City, where she met folk-art collectors and sold her painted cloth dolls outside the Museum of American Folk Art at Lincoln Center.

"It's exciting," Williams said of her new career. "I meet a lot of people who are inspiring to me, and also this gives me the prosperity to help others."

Williams, who doesn't like to reveal her age but whose mother is in her 90s, likes to mix in a little philanthropy and ministering with her other jobs. Her fruit stand on State Road 60 is full of paintings, T-shirts and dolls until the winter harvests begin coming in around Nov. 15.

Prices start at $30 for a small painting and go into the hundreds. Williams is upbeat about her busy days as she continues to make her art a business.

"If you don't feel good about it, why should you do it?" she said. "Especially if you get old."

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