Highwaymen to show off history
The largest gathering of original Florida Highwaymen will take place in Pompano Beach this month, with 10 members expected to display their vibrant works of an unspoiled Florida.
Meet the artists and get first pick of landscapes that depict the wild beauty of the Sunshine State, from the signature royal poinciana to Everglades sunsets, at a reception from 5 to 8:30 p.m. March 18 and a public opening from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. March 19 at the historic SampleMcDougald House.
Members of the famed group of African-American painters from Fort Pierce who are expected to attend include: Curtis Arnett, Al Black, Willie Daniels, James Gibson, Issac Knight, R.L. Lewis, Roy McLendon, Willie C. Reagan, Charles Walker and Doretha Hair Truesdell, widow of founding member Alfred Hair.
“We will have the largest number of original Highwaymen at any show in the world,” said Peter Williams, president of the Pompano Beach Historical Society, which is sponsoring the event. “All the painters have donated original works that we will auction off at Friday night’s opening reception, so this is your chance to take home a piece of iconic Florida history.”
Tickets to Friday’s reception, which includes live music, food and beverages, cost $35. Entry to Saturday’s show is $5.
“These artists are still going strong, but they are getting up there in years,” Williams said. “Sadly, Highwaymen John Maynor and Carnell Smith passed away recently, so this is a wonderful opportunity to meet other members of the legendary group and watch them create their masterpieces.”
The artists got their nickname because they sold quickly painted works, sometimes still wet, from the trunks of their cars along U.S. Highway1in the 1950s and ’60s. They used painting to escape the tomato fields and orange groves during segregation.
Their works hang in homes across
When: Public opening March 19 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Where: Sample-McDougald House, 450 NE 10th St., Pompano Beach. Contact: 954-691-5686, PompanoHistory.com. the United States, as well as in the White House, in city halls and museums.
The original 26 artists, including one woman, Mary Ann Carroll, were inducted into the Florida Artists Hall of Fame in 2004.
The annual show benefits preservation efforts f or t he 4,500-square-foot pioneer homestead built in 1916, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Truesdell will discuss the birth of the loose-knit art movement as it expanded around Fort Pierce at the historical society’s monthly meeting. The free event, which is open to the public, will be at 7 p.m. March 16 at 217 NE 4th Ave. in Pompano Beach.