Florida Highwaymen on Site at Palmetto Historical Park & Agricultural Museum

Jul 01, 15 Florida Highwaymen on Site at Palmetto Historical Park & Agricultural Museum

By: Diane Ingram, 721-2034 • Manatee  County Agricultural Museum, Inc.

You can meet eight of the original Florida Highwaymen at an art show and sale which will be held at Palmetto Historical Park & Manatee County Agricultural Museum on Saturday, July 18th, from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm.They will have artwork for sale and you can see a live painting demo by one of the artists at 1:00 pm. Seating is first come, first served for the demo. The park and museum are located at 515 – 10th Ave. West, Palmetto. In addition, a local private collection of paintings will be on exhibit from July 11th through August 15th.

“Backwater Sunset” by Willie Daniels

The Florida Highwaymen are a small group of African American landscape artists who began painting in the late 1950s. The paintings were then sold out of the trunk of their cars, as the artists went from door to door at homes and business offices or set up shop on a busy corner at the side of the road. Their bright and sultry images of Florida’s tropical beauty were sold for as little as twenty or thirty dollars. Today their paintings are widely sought after collectibles.

The Highwaymen originated from the Fort Pierce, Florida area when a white artist, Albert Ernest “Bean” Backus began to tutor a young African American teen named Alfred Hair. “Bean” not only taught Hair, but he influenced other young artists interested in exploring their creativity and developing a similar, yet unique style of their own…as well as making a living outside of the back-breaking labor in citrus groves and tomato fields.  In 1995 the term “Highwaymen” was coined by Jim Fitch, a Florida museum curator, who wrote an article about the artists for the magazine “Antiques and Art Around Florida.”

For more information, call 721-2034 or 723-4991.

“St. Lucie Creek” by John Maynor

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