Searching for the Next Generation of Highwaymen Painters: Second Generation Artist helps kick off Black History Month at Fort Lauderdale History Museum and local schools

Kelvin Hair, second generation Highwaymen Artist, and son of one of the most famous of the original Highwaymen, Alfred Hair, will be hosting an opening reception, a series of exhibits, shows, and workshops, in Fort Lauderdale the first weekend in February to kick off black history month. Collaborators include the Old Dillard School Museum, the award-winning arts programs of Dillard High School, Grace Arts FL, and Event Host, The History Museum of Fort Lauderdale.

The original Highwaymen produced gestural impressionistic paintings prolifically and sold them out of their cars along Florida’s highways. Scenic and pristine, the classic works harkens back to an earlier time in Florida’s history where though the strains of segregation squeezed the young, bold painters out of traditional art careers, their work attracted many buyers and future collectors. Kelvin didn’t get a chance to get to know his father, who was tragically murdered at a very early age, but a number of Alfred Hair’s friends who were also painters, took Kelvin under their wing and taught him the quick painting strokes and how to chose and master the composition of a still life or Florida landscape.

Nationally recognized art historian and scholar, Gary Monroe, will provide a riveting talk to the public at the opening of the Highwaymen Exhibit on Monday, February 8, 2016, at the Fort Lauderdale History Museum. His book, The Highwaymen: Florida’s African-American Landscape Painters, is a seminal work on the famed first generation of this uniquely Florida art genre. A new generation of Highwaymen Artists has not yet emerged, Kelvin being one of a very few and now fifty years old himself, but there’s hope that with investment by the Florida cultural community into a new wave of young artists, their talent combined with an understanding of the Highwaymen story and style will carry forward this important artistic legacy. Paintings can be purchased throughout the week of Kelvin Hair’s visit and during the month of February from the Museum, on and off-site during events.

Learn more bout the events by contacting Clare Vickery at 954.816.3324, Director Grace Arts Fl, Cultural Marketplace collaborative of Retail Gallery and charitable arts programming.

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