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News Story
Updated: 11/07/2013 08:00:02AM

The Highwaymen Revisited:

a trip down Florida’s back roads

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PHOTO FROM AMERICANWAY MAGAZINE


Willie Reagan, Issac Knight, Rodney Demps and Mary Ann Carroll were photographed with their artwork in Fort Pierce in 2002. In the 1960s, they were peddling their paintings roadside and from the trunk of their carsPEDDLING. Today, many of those paintings are hanging in museums.

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Workers toil in the Florida sun in a turn-of-the-century citrus grove depicted in this Highwayman painting.

PHOTO PROVIDED


Bright colors and scenery native to Florida were favorites of the original Highwayman painters who criss-crossed the state to sell their paintings.

By CARLA KAPPMEYER-SHERWIN

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The “open road” is quintessential to the American experience. Long celebrated in American culture, it is indelibly stamped in the American psyche and springs forth from the American landscape.

One of the most triumphant and uplifting road stories is the tale of the Highwaymen, a group of young, African-American artists from Ft. Pierce who painted stylized picture postcard landscapes influenced by pre-eminent landscape artist A. E. (Bean) Backus. Although the Highwaymen have achieved legendary status in some circles, they remain relatively unknown to many people.

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