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The Highwaymen: Florida Dreamscapes

 

The Vero Beach Museum of Art will present The Highwaymen: Florida Dreamscapes opening to the public in the museum's Schumann Florida Gallery on Saturday, July 26, and continuing through Sunday, September 21, 2003.

This exhibition features Highwaymen works based on esteemed local collections with a focus on earlier works from the original members of the Highwaymen group.

The Highwaymen were a loose-knit group of self-taught, African American artists from Fort Pierce, Florida, who produced colorful, impressionistic Florida landscapes from the late 1950s into the early 80s. In the mid 1990s collector Jim Fitch coined the term Highwaymen for these 26 artists who sold their work from the roadside or in building lobbies. The group owes its inspiration to renowned Ft. Pierce landscape painter A. E. "Beanie" Backus.

These artists, including Alfred Hair, George Buckner, Roy McLendon, Mary Ann Carroll, and Harold Newton, worked with a speed and spontaneity that produced a fresh, Florida style-colorful paintings free of the restraints of traditional landscape painting. The staggering number of paintings created produce an image of Florida as a place of vivid sunsets, billowing clouds, palm trees, sun, and sand. (right: George Buckner, Sunrise, c. 1960 (vintage), oil on upson board; from the John Jetson Collection; photograph by Carter Gibbons - Gibbons Photography, Vero Beach, FL)

 

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