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Highwaymen painters film documentary for new museum

Published: Oct. 12, 2021 at 5:21 PM EDT
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Selling their landscapes along the roadside in the 1960s and 1970s, a group of African-American artists became known as the “Highwaymen.”

As some have passed away, there’s an effort to preserve their legacy not just on the canvas.

This week, surviving members were being interviewed for a documentary.

"Art has been a part of my life… all my life," said Willie C. Reagan.

Reagan grew up in Gifford and taught art in the local schools.

He still has an active gallery in Vero Beach today.

"Of course Florida has beautiful scenery. Paintings that I sold, people could relate to," said Reagan as he waited for his turn behind the camera.

Fellow Highwaymen painter Charles Walker was also being interviewed.

In the beginning, making money wasn’t what Walker was thinking when it came to his landscapes.

"I didn’t try and sell them. I was trying to get the details and the colors right. Learn how to paint, man," said Walker.

The two men were being interviewed by Georgette Angelos, a film producer who recently moved back to the Treasure Coast to manage Chuck’s Seafood in Fort Pierce, her families’ restaurant.

"The artists have contributed so much to the history and our past and it’s something that’s an opportunity for me to be apart of," said Angelos.

The finished product will be ready to air when a temporary Highwaymen Museum opens on Avenue D in Fort Pierce in February.

The hope is to built a permanent space down the road.

Scripps Only Content 2021