“We can't believe how much work he turned out,” said artist Madeline Sherry, a friend of Webb's who, along with the help of artist Dan Camp, is busily cataloging the work in the storage rooms. “He's a very talented guy—and driven, from what I can see around here. It's just an immense body of work.”
Webb suffered from mental illness and was homeless for many years, but he continued to make art by painting on pieces of cardboard. Later in life, Webb's brother—author and screenwriter Michael Blake, who penned Dances With Wolves—helped support Webb, so the artist was eventually able to purchase canvasses and produce bigger works.
“But he was on the street for a long time, and he was painting on cardboard whenever he didn't have money for materials,” Camp says. “I'm looking at the stacks of cardboard now, and there's just some beautiful stuff in here—really, really nice stuff.”
A selection of Webb's work will be on view at two memorial shows from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 2, at the Martha Pace Swift Gallery (2820 Roosevelt Road, Suite 204, NTC Promenade, Point Loma) and from 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 4, at The Del Mar Powerhouse Community Center (1658 Coast Blvd.). Blake will be in attendance for a book signing and remembrance reading at both events.
Musician Grace Slick (Jefferson Airplane, Jefferson Starship) will show “420 Collections,” her recent series of paintings and prints focusing on medical marijuana, starting at 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 3, at Alexander Salazar Fine Art (1040 Seventh Ave., Downtown).
The main character in her work is Rescue Rabbit, a superhero who sometimes wears a cape emblazoned with a pot leaf and swoops in to save patients suffering from cancer and other illnesses.
One-time CityBeat cover artist Nicole Waszak will curate art shows at the relatively new 98 Bottles (2400 Kettner Blvd., Suite 110, in Little Italy). The inaugural show features surf- and San Diego-themed works by David Tyrone Villa and opens from 6 to 9 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 1.