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Highwaymen exhibit at City Hall refreshed with new paintings

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  • | 8:00 a.m. June 23, 2024
Visitors viewing the Florida Highwaymen exhibit in the atrium and lobby at Sarasota City Hall.
Visitors viewing the Florida Highwaymen exhibit in the atrium and lobby at Sarasota City Hall.
Courtesy image
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A refreshed Florida Highwaymen exhibit will debut Thursday, June 27, with as many as 24 new paintings on display in the atrium at Sarasota City Hall.

The Florida Highwaymen were a group of 26 Black artists known for capturing the untouched Florida landscape in vivid color. Widely credited for beginning Florida’s contemporary art tradition, they sold their artwork door-to-door and from the trunks of their cars because of racial barriers preventing them from exhibiting through traditional means. 

“The Florida Highwaymen exhibit here at City Hall has been more successful than we could have ever imagined,” said Public Art Manager Mary Davis Wallace in a news release. “We’re thrilled to see how much our residents and visitors have enjoyed these beautifully captured views of the untouched Florida landscape and learned about the inspiring personal stories of these remarkably talented artists.”

The exhibit is on loan from Roger Lightle, a Highwaymen art collector and owner of Highwaymen Art Specialists Inc. in Vero Beach. Since the late 1990s, Lightle has collected approximately 700 Highwaymen paintings.

The 26 original Highwaymen were inducted into the Florida Artists Hall of Fame in 2004.

The exhibit is free and open to the public during regular City Hall hours, Monday-Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

“We are excited to continue our partnership with Mr. Lightle and refresh the Florida Highwaymen exhibit,” Wallace said in the release. “The opportunity to celebrate these artists and highlight Florida’s cultural heritage is something truly special,” said Wallace.

The City Hall Cultural Heritage Exhibit launched in November 2022 to beautify the City Hall lobby while highlighting Sarasota’s and Florida’s history in arts and culture. Pieces are on a six-month rotation.


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