The Highwaymen: Florida's African-American Landscape Painters

The Highwaymen phenomenon was launched, in large part, by of Gary Monroe’s book, The Highwaymen: Florida’s African-American Landscape Painters (University Press of Florida, 2001), which the New York Times reviewed on the front page of their Lively Arts section soon thereafter. Monroe told the unlikely story of a group of black youths who, in 1960, taught themselves to paint and rose above societal expectations to leave a visual legacy of modern Florida. He offers interpretations of the art and its effect on Floridians and visitors.

The Highwaymen

The Highwaymen's paintings, once characterized as "motel art" and found in thrift stores and garage sales, came back with a vengeance – the paintings were dusted off, reconsidered, and commodified. The paintings celebrated the picture postcard image of natural Florida, "a dream of how Floridians wanted to see their state and how they wanted it to be seen by others." They are celebrated today for different reasons; the Sunshine State has been settled, and now people look at these paintings to reflect on old Florida and to assess how the Florida dream was realized by the artists and themselves.

The Highwaymen

Culled from personal collections of Highwaymen paintings, this exhibition was curated by Lisa Stone to illuminate the paintings’ cultural and aesthetic significance as outlined in Monroe's seminal text.

  • 40 framed paintings, approximately 18”x24” to 24”x48” (plus frames)
  • General essay and text for specific paintings
  • Photographs and bios of the artists
  • Lecture by Gary Monroe
  • 10 week rental

The Highwaymen Murals: Al Black’s Prison Murals

While incarcerated, Highwayman Al Black was permitted to paint murals on the walls of the Central Florida Reception Center, one of the Department of Correction’s clearinghouse prisons for incoming inmates. He completed 90 large murals, which were photographed to show their scale and suggest their impact in the context of a prison environment. Indeed, they transformed the bleak and punitive environment into one with reverential undertones.

Without these photographs (shy of being arrested and convicted in the State of Florida) the Highwaymen murals would be virtually inaccessible. They are an integral part of the Highwaymen saga, though, as well as Al Black’s finest paintings.

  • 50 framed photographs (print size is 12”x18”; framed to 20”x24”)
  • General essay
  • 2 photographs of Al Black
  • 10 week rental
  • (lecture by Gary Monroe available)

Florida Outsider Artists

Florida Outsider ArtistsThis exhibition features seven outsider artists who are represented by Lisa Stone Arts, including two who worked in seclusion and whose work has never before been shown. The collection showcases resonant images and diverse visions. Outsider artists are in a class of their own; as they never learned the rules, their art is especially vivid, wild, and often shocking in its candor and style.

Florida Outsider ArtistsThese artists work or have worked on the fringes of art and life with little, if any, support. No institutions have given any of them a stamp of approval, and many reject ideas of mainstream legitimacy. None belong to any school or movement; these artists have no tradition to uphold or consciously reject. This work moves seamlessly between fringe social commentary and fantastical dreamscapes, impressing one with each artist's intensity, focus, and clarity of vision. This collection questions the very nature of art and whether there is a right way to make or interpret it.

  • 32 paintings and 3 sculptures, framed sizes from 16”x20” to 48”x60”
  • General essay and individual artists’ bios/interpretive text panels
  • Photographs of the artists
  • 10 week rental
  • (lecture by Gary Monroe available)