Martin County Library System Press Releases

February 5, 2013

Noted author Gary Monroe tells history of Florida Highwaymen, shows original paintings Feb. 14 and 15

Celebrating the Harvest of the Mind, Body & Spirit

DATE:  FEBRUARY 5, 2013      

In celebration of Black History Month and as part of Martin County Library System’s Chautauqua South arts and education series, Gary Monroe will present a history of the Florida Highwaymen 6:00 p.m. Thursday, February 14 at the Blake Library, John F. Armstrong Wing, 2351 SE Monterey Road, Stuart, and 2:30 p.m. Friday, February 15 at the Hoke Library, Community Room, 1150 NW Williams Way, Jensen Beach. Sponsored by the Friends of the Martin County Library System, Inc., the events are free and open to the public. No tickets or reservations are required.

Gary Monroe, author of the book that sparked the Highwaymen renaissance, will discuss the setting and origin of the once anonymous painters from our area who in the 1960s and 1970s showered the region and state with their glowing interpretations of Florida as the dream-state. His 50-minute PowerPoint-assisted presentation will introduce the artists, explore their banner years, and showcase an array of paintings.

Additionally, a selection of original paintings will be on hand courtesy of Lisa Stone Arts ( The audience is welcome to contribute their ideas and experiences with these paintings. The lively discussion will offer a historical context and a fresh interpretation to the Highwaymen’s unique imagery.

Monroe’s 2001 book, The Highwaymen: Florida’s African-American Landscape Painters, inspired museums to freshly consider these once dismissible paintings, individuals to collect them with gusto, magazines to initiate articles, and institutions to host the special Highwaymen events. Mr. Monroe’s book even inspired the artists to come out of retirement to paint again! 

Books will be available for purchase, which you may have autographed by the author. 

Gary Monroe is a professor of art at Daytona State College and the author of the seminal book about The Highwaymen: Florida’s African-American Landscape Painters, as well as two other Highwaymen books: Harold Newton: The Original Highwayman and The Highwaymen Murals: Al Black’s Concrete Dreams.

His first book was reviewed on the front page of the New York Times Lively Arts Section. Mr. Monroe successfully nominated the Highwaymen to the Florida Artists Hall of Fame, a function of the Florida Department of State, in 2004 and, last year, served a National Public Radio crew as guide for NPR’s three-part Highwaymen series. Visit his website for more information at

For details or to learn more about other Chautauqua South events or the Martin County Library System, call (772) 221-1403, pick up a Library Connection at any Martin County library or visit the library website,, where you may sign up to receive notification of events by email.





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