Catherine Enns in her 2009 book The Journey of the Highwaymen, writes; “The Highwaymen and their vivid paintings of the tropical landscape offer a unique contribution to the art world.” A glimpse of this world will be on display at the Stirling Art Studios & Gallery from Friday, January 11 through Saturday, February 2, 2013. Presented as a companion exhibit to the Smithsonian exhibit “Journey Stories” on display from Jan 26 through March 31 at the Dunedin Historical Museum, this exhibit gives art lovers and Florida landscape & nature lovers an opportunity to compare a broad range of this group of 26 historic African-American artists as represented in three individual collections. The collectors are Matthew Samuels from Fort Pierce, Don Ball from Largo and Mark Torrance from Dunedin. Personal appearances by two of the living legends will add an up-close and personal vantage.
The exhibit opens Friday, January 11 from 5:30 – 8:30 pm in conjunction with downtown Dunedin’s Second Friday Art & Wine Walk. The following Saturday, January 19th, the downtown Artist’s Studios and Gallery and home to DFAC’s Stirling Campus, plays host to Highwaymen, Isaac Knight and R. A. “Roy” McLendon. Both artists will be on hand from 11 am to 3pm to meet the public and talk about and share their paintings.
Issac Knight though born in Tallahassee, moved to Fort Pierce, the historical base of this group of painters in 1955. He met the founding organizer of the Highwaymen, Alfred Hair, through his brother-in-law, Al Black and began painting. He continues to paint in his garage turned studio.
Roy McLendon was born in Pelham, Georgia in 1932. McLendon, known as the “storyteller” of the group is considered the second Highwayman. He is responsible for most of the paintings depicting people. Completely self-taught, McLendon runs a successful gallery in Fort Pierce with his son Roy McLendon, Jr., who is also an artist.