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Friday, October 24, 2014

Highwaymen in South Miami

In the 1950's, 1960's, and into the 70's the Jim Crow laws kept African American artists from exhibiting in galleries. This band of 26 men and one woman, were self taught and sold their paintings out of the backs of their cars along highway A1A and Interstate 95. Hence the name: the Highwaymen. After painting quickly, they would use salvaged wood to build frames. Often the work was bought for $20-$25 a canvas by hotels in and around Miami and the everglades. The income saved the artists from a common destiny of having to labor in the citrus groves. Today the paintings sell from $300 a canvas up to the thousands.
Tonight we visited an exhibition in south Miami of a small sale of a private collector's. The show, at the Archive Fine Art & Collectibles (1559 1/2 Sunset Drive) included a live painting demonstration by the son of one of the original 26, the son of Sam Newton! Needless to say, it was fascinating.
He was painting with OLIVE OIL!

One of the original founders of the group, Alfred Hair, now deceased, was well represented in the collection.
One of my personal favorites was by James Gibson, ...moody like my mood tonight.

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