Antique Mall specializes in Highwaymen art
By Dawn Krebs
FORT PIERCE - Row after row, booth after booth, of everything from artwork to glass to furniture awaits customers at the Vienna Trading Antique Mall, one of the newest antique destinations in St. Lucie County.
But there are few corners that hold piece of Florida history.
"We have more than 200 pieces of Highwaymen art," said Elizabeth Mendez, one of the owners of the store. "We have dealers from all over the country calling for them."
The painting line many walls, and come in all sizes and time periods.
The idea to feature Highwaymen Art came while the owner was building a personal collection.
"I found that very few places offer more than just a few pieces," she said. "I wanted to offer as much as possible."
The store currently has paintings from each of the original 26 artists who are inducted in the Highwaymen Hall of Fame.
From the early 1950s through the 1980s, a group of African-American Artists became known as the Highwaymen because they painted at their homes and sold their artwork on the side of the highway to tourists. The art style is known for vivid colors of palm trees, sunsets and Florida landscapes.
A video display is set up near the paintings to give customers the history of the Florida Highwaymen as they look over the artwork.
"We sell paintings everyday, and I believe this art is for the people," Ms. Mendez said. "They painted these for the people, and I want to share that."
In the rest of the antique mall, there are more than 40 vendors working out of the 4,000 square feet of space.
"We have a waiting list for vendors," Ms. Mendez said. "We've got a lot of regular customers that stop in all the time from Vero Beach down to Port St. Lucie."
Every booth is a little different, and changes from crystal to toys, depending on where you are in the building.
And that's the way the owners want it.
"We have a large variety of things, because people collect different things," she said.
The main thing Ms. Mendez is that it's affordable.
"We have a large variety of items, and we wanted to have a large variety of prices," she said. "That way, there's something for everyone."
Vienna Trading Antique Mall is located at 3401 U.S.1 in Fort Pierce. It is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., seven days a week.
For more information, call (772) 461-1662.