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Highwaymen Artists Return

OUC – The Reliable One sponsors free “Meet & Greet” event featuring “Highwaymen Kids” Youth Art Exhibition

Visitors to the Orange County Regional History Center on December 10 have an opportunity to meet original Highwaymen painters and see their work, as well as paintings by young artists inspired by the Florida legends.

The Highwaymen represent a fascinating chapter in Florida’s past—the story of 26 African American artists who took to Florida’s roads in the 1950s and ’60s, marketing their art. They came of age during an era of strict segregation, when their usual job options were extremely limited. Instead, they became working painters who are now in the Florida Artists Hall of Fame.

“We’re always excited to welcome members of the original Highwaymen to the History Center,” says Michael Perkins, the History Center’s manager. “We’re grateful to OUC – The Reliable One for returning as our sponsor for their December visit, which has been enhanced this year by our Highwaymen Kids Art Competition and Exhibition.”

In Highwaymen Kids project, middle-school students at Orange County Public Schools’ Academic Center for Excellence submit their own Florida landscape paintings for judging by a panel from the Cornell Fine Arts Museum, Orlando Museum of Art, Orange County Public Library System, and the History Center. All participants receive an acrylic paint set, a paint brush set, and several canvasses to complete their project, and all artwork will be framed and displayed in a mini-exhibition at the History Center on December 10, when the Highwaymen painters will be present.

The exhibition will feature ribbons for the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners, as well as information about the history of the Highwaymen and the Parramore community, where the Academic Center of Excellence is located, says Amanda Parish Walters, the History Center’s curator of education.

The students’ art supplies are provided by the History Center with the support of Orange County Government and the Historical Society of Central Florida. In addition to ribbons, the top three winners will receive cash prizes of $175, $100, and $75, thanks to the generous support of the Orlando Solar Bears, the Sodo Target, and the Sanford Walmart.

Artists Curtis Arnett, Al Black, Mary Ann Carroll, Issac Knight, Robert Lewis Jr., and Roy McLendon are slated to appear at the event on Sunday, December 10, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Museum admission is free for the day, and guests can visit the History Center’s four floors of exhibits. Visitors have an opportunity to talk with the painters, see examples of their work, and purchase authentic Highwaymen paintings, as well as enjoy the Highwaymen Kids exhibit.

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