By Dawn Krebs
MARTIN COUNTY -- At the Blake Library in Stuart, a unique presentation of Florida Highwaymen art took place on Feb. 18, when the popular works of art were on display for residents to get a closer look.
Original works of the Florida Highwaymen, completed over the years on the highways in Florida, were displayed on tables and on stage.
The presentation was part of the Martin County Library System's Black History Month and the library's Chautauqua South arts and education series. The Friends of the Martin County Library System also sponsored this free event.
This presentation was moderated by noted author Gary Monroe, who wrote the 2001 book "The Highwaymen: Florida's African-American Landscape Painters," presented some of the history of the artists.
Mr. Monroe has already written two other books about the Highwaymen history, and was nominated to the Highwaymen to the Florida Artists Hall of Fame in 2004.
The Florida Highwaymen began back in the 1950s as a group of self-taught painters who sold their paintings of landscapes on the side of the highway.
At the time, these painting were sold for less than $50, but are now worth thousands today, and collectors still search for unique ones.
To help illustrate the talent of the artists, Lisa Stone Arts donated a selection of original paintings to be shown during the event.