home for half a century of
their works and their history.
“Some of the painters and
small businesses in Fort
Pierce got together last year
to come up with the idea
of having an art and history
center dedicated to the
Highwaymen,” Carroll said.
“We’re in the process of putting
the plans together now.”
Carroll, 69, was originally
inspired and mentored by
Harold Newton, a Highwaymen
artist from Gifford whose
brother Lemuel and son Sam
were also original Highwaymen. Their legacy is now carried
on by second-generation Highwayman Tracy Newton.
Carroll is applying for tax-exempt status for the fledgling
Florida Highwaymen Artist and History Center Inc. Meanwhile,
the search for a location has begun.
A permanent home can’t come too soon for Lee Drake,
whose artist brother Hezekiah Baker died in 2007. Drake
represents his Highwayman brother and fellow artists Curtis
Arnett, Robert Butler and Willie Reagan. “It’s a dream of
mine to have a center because my brother meant so much to
me,” Drake said. “I would love to have a place where visitors
Carroll has lived in Fort Pierce since 1948. Like most of
her fellow Highwaymen artists, she began painting Florida
landscapes in the 1950s, selling quickly at low prices to put >>
SU L. ANDERSON
Mary Ann Carroll, the only female member of the Highwaymen, is president
of the Florida Highwaymen Artist and History Center Inc.
PHOTO PROVIDED BY LEE DRAKE
Curtis Arnett is one of the 26
Highwaymen in the Florida Artists
Hall of Fame.