The Biker Gang Bohemians

Stalked by Jim Crow, the Highwaymen were a band of black artists that wandered and painted Florida in the ‘60s and ‘70s. By some accounts, the group turned out over 100,000 unique pieces, which were sold at malls, doctor’s offices, and roadsides. They painted quickly, in an otherworldly manner. As in works by Monet, the landscapes appear made of water vapor. A palm tree can explode like a fireworks display. Pink clouds are a motif, and no wonder: Florida’s sunsets often rouge the skies.

Many of the paintings wound up perfunctorily on hotel-room walls. But works by the founding Highwaymen, Alfred Hair and Harold Newton, are being duly spotlighted at the Spady Museum. Tonight is the opening reception. This is a chance to rediscover cool Floridian art — and, through the art, Florida itself. There’s jazz afterwards.

“The Florida Highwaymen: Alfred Hair and Harold Newton” goes down Thursday at 5:30 p.m. at the Spady Museum, found at 170 NW Fifth Ave. in Delray Beach. The exhibit runs through June 30. Tickets cost $5. Call 561-279-8883, or visit spadymuseum.org.
May 7-June 30, 5:30 p.m., 2009

 
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