Highwaymen to Be Honored at the Elliott

Florida Senator Gayle Harrell will present a proclamation to the artists for their historical impact in a ceremony June 13

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River Road by RA McLendon. Courtesy the Roger Lightle Collection
River Road by RA McLendon. Courtesy the Roger Lightle Collection

Florida Senator Gayle Harrell will present a proclamation to the Florida Highwaymen for their historical impact on American culture and art in a ceremony at the Elliott Museum June 13, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. The Highwaymen are a group of 26 African American landscape artists who went from selling their paintings on street corners in the 1950s to now being represented in the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture.

Roy McLendon (seated), one of the original 26 Highwaymen, and his son, Roy McLendon, Jr., also an artist
Roy McLendon (seated), one of the original 26 Highwaymen, and his son, Roy McLendon, Jr., also an artist.

Noted Highwaymen collector Roger Lightle is extending an invitation to the surviving Highwaymen artists and their families to attend and be recognized at this event. The evening also will feature a live painting demonstration and gallery talk.

Admission is free to Elliott Museum members and regular admission for non-members is $8-$16. Members may RSVP by calling 772-225-1961. Non-members may buy their tickets online.

Through July 14, the Elliott Museum is displaying “Highwaymen—From the Street Corner to the Smithsonian,” a rare collection of paintings that have never been exhibited together. While many of the paintings focus on well-known Florida landscapes, some of them tell a story as they depict people from the 1950s era, animals, and intimate vistas.

The exhibit also showcases an extensive “Canvas Board Wall” of the artists’ early works, including Harold Newton, one of the founding members, along with a Tribute Wall to Roy McLendon, who was inspired by Newton.

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