On Friday, June 10th, 5:30 – 8:00 pm the Palmetto Historical Park and Manatee County Agricultural Museum will open an exhibit of Florida Highwaymen paintings with a reception. Private collectors Don & Janey Ball have loaned thirty paintings which will be on display through August 12th. The collectors will address the visitors at 6:00 pm. At 6:30 pm, the documentary “”Florida’s Outsider Artists” will be shown in the Ag Museum. This opening reception is free and open to the public but reservations are required. Call 721-2034. The Florida Highwaymen are a small group of African American landscape artists who began painting in the late 1950s. The paintings were then sold out of the trunk of their cars, as the artists went from door to door at homes and business offices or set up shop on a busy corner at the side of the road. Their bright and sultry images of Florida’s tropical beauty were sold for as little as twenty or thirty dollars. Today their paintings are widely sought after collectibles. The Highwaymen originated from the Fort Pierce, Florida area when a white artist, Albert Ernest “Bean” Backus began to tutor a young African American teen named Alfred Hair. “Bean” not only taught Hair, but he influenced other young artists interested in exploring their creativity and developing a similar, yet unique style of their ownas well as making a living outside of the back-breaking labor in citrus groves and tomato fields. In 1995 the term “Highwaymen” was coined by Jim Fitch, a Florida museum curator, who wrote an article about the artists for the magazine “Antiques and Art Around Florida.” Come out and see the paintings and learn about the Highwaymen - a unique part of Florida history.