The Village of Wellington will host a free public art exhibit “The Art of Florida’s Highwaymen” at the Wellington Community Center next week. The exhibit will be on display for public viewing Friday, Jan. 18 through Sunday, Jan. 20, with presentations each day at 2 p.m.
A key member of the Highwaymen, R.A. McLendon, who began his painting career in 1955, will be painting live on site. A free opening reception is scheduled for Friday, Jan. 18 from 4 to 6 p.m.
In the late 1950s, during the Jim Crow era, a small group of African-American artists from the Fort Pierce and Vero Beach area started a business venture during a time when available employment opportunities consisted mainly of low-paying, minimum-wage jobs.
Eventually, the group numbered 26 self-taught artists. Unable to display and sell their work through traditional channels, they traveled the roads, selling their paintings. This unconventional sales method eventually earned them the name of “The Highwaymen.” For more than 40 years, the group captured Florida’s natural beauty in an estimated 200,000 paintings depicting striking views of backwoods scenes, breaking waves, palm-lined beaches and rivers, to name a few.
Hours for viewing the exhibit are as follows: Friday, Jan. 18 from noon to 6 p.m. with a free opening reception from 4 to 6 p.m.; Saturday, Jan. 19 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; and Sunday, Jan. 20 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information, call the Wellington Community Center at (561) 753-2484.