Famed Florida Highwaymen painters coming to Pompano Beach

Famed Highwaymen painters will exhibit and sell their vibrant works of an unspoiled Florida on March 22-23 in Pompano Beach.

The self-taught African-American painters from Fort Pierce will set up, paint and sell their unique landscapes — from moonlit beaches, Everglades sunsets and the signature royal poinciana — at a new venue at the Pompano Beach Women’s Club at 314 NE Second St.

Meet the artists and get first pick of original works at a reception from 7 to 9 p.m. March 22 and at a public opening from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. March 23. Tickets for the reception, which includes dinner and beverages, cost $40. Admission to the Saturday show is $5.

“We are expecting this to be the best Highwayman art show that we’ve had. We are moving from the Sample-McDougald House to a larger, one-level location, across from the Pompano Beach Historical Society,” says organizer Peter Williams, president of the nonprofit society. “As the artists get older, they get more popular because they are one of the most unique groups of ethnic landscape artists in the world.”

Aging members of the group expected to attend include Curtis Arnett, Doretha Hair Truesdell, Al Black, Issac Knight, R.L. Lewis and Willie Reagan. Works by Maryann Carol and Willie Daniels, who are both ill, and Alfred Hair, the late founding member, will also be on sale.

Arnett is scheduled to discuss how he got started as a Highwayman at age 7 at 6 p.m. March 20 at the Pompano Beach Historical Society, 217 NE Fourth Ave. Food and beverages will be provided. Admission is free.

The Highwaymen painters became known for quickly creating vivid scenes of wild Florida. The works, often still wet, were sold from the trunks of their cars along U.S. Highway 1 for as little as $10 in the late 1950s and ’60s. They used painting to escape the tomato fields and orange groves during segregation.

Today, some original oils sell for tens of thousands of dollars, and Highwaymen works hang in homes across the United States, in city halls, museums and the White House.

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