SAINT AUGUSTINE – In conjunction with the current exhibition “Florida East Coast: Selections from the Guidi Collection”, an exhibition of works from the Doris and William Guidi Collection a lecture by writer Gary Monroe, “Painting in Paradise: The Art of the Highwaymen” begins at 5 p.m. Friday, June 1 , hosted by the Crisp-Ellert Museum, part of the Flagler College complex. This event is a part of St. Augustine’s First Friday Art Walk, and is free and open to the public.
Focusing on self-taught and vernacular art, Gary Monroe began his literary pursuits with “The Highwaymen: Florida’s African-American Landscape Painters” (University Press of Florida, 2001), in which he told the story of the Highwaymen painters and offered a fresh interpretation of their art. Consequently, public interest in these compelling but forgotten artists was revived. The New York Times wrote a Lively Arts front-page article about the book, saying that “These colorful landscapes… shaped the state’s popular image as much as oranges and alligators.” In subsequent books, including “Harold Newton: The Original Highwayman” (2007), “The Highwaymen Murals: Al Black’s Concrete Dreams” (2009), and “Mary Ann Carroll: First Lady of the Highwaymen” (2014), Monroe continued to tell these artist’s inspiring stories. Based on his nomination, these painters were inducted into the Florida Artists Hall of Fame in 2004.
Monroe’s other books about Florida art include “Extraordinary Interpretations: Self-taught Florida Artists” (2003), “Silver Springs: The Underwater Photographs of Bruce Mozert” (2008), “Florida’s American Heritage River: Images from the St. Johns Region” (2009), and “E. G. Barnhill: Florida Photographer, Adventurer, Entrepreneur” (2016).
Monroe’s work has been recognized by grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, Florida Department of State’s Division of Cultural Affairs, Florida Humanities Council, and the Fulbright Foundation. He recently retired after 30 years as a professor at Daytona State College.
“Florida East Coast: Selections from the Guidi Collection” showcases a selection of works from the Guidi Collection that highlights local artist’s depictions of the Florida East Coast over the years. The paintings by artists from the Ponce era, Lost Colony, and Highwaymen range from the late 1880s until the 1970s, include idealized images of Florida’s natural landscape, along with paintings of Saint Augustine architecture that still exists today.
This exhibition was curated and organized by the Gallery Management class under the guidance of Art History Professor, Dr. Chris Balaschak. Each student played an active role in contributing to the production of this exhibition. The students within the class were divided into four groups: Sarah MacDonald and Madi Hetico for marketing; Caroline Davis, Sarah Langston, Cynthia Rountree, Anadaniela Garcia, Laura Baldwin, Tyler Schroeder and Alyssa Nardi for curating; Emily Lemp and John Roberts for design; and Brandon Bates and Alyssa Wilson for educational programming. Additional assistance has been provided by students in the Curatorial Practice summer class, Cassie Derickson, Emily Lemp, John Roberts, Autumn Soto, and Alyssa Wilson for their assistance.
The museum’s hours during May and June are Monday through Friday, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. For further information on the exhibition and related programs, please visit the museum’s website, or contact Julie Dickover at 904-826-8530 or firstname.lastname@example.org.