The first annual Mount Dora Florida Highwaymen Art Festival is now history. The turn out for the event was fabulous considering the lingering effects of Tropical Storm "forever" Fay. After days of wet weather and about 24" of rain to fill our drought cup ... it thankfully turned out to be a fabulous day! We counted over a thousand people in attendance despite the weather. A special thanks to the Mount Dora Lodging Association for planning and hosting the show.
Taking place in the center of town at Donnelly Park, art enthusiasts were able to find great pieces of original Highwaymen paintings and pose for photos with the original artists including Al Black, Roy Mclendon, Issac Knight, James Gibson, R. L. Lewis, and Mary Ann Carroll.
To the left are Innkeepers Dave and Betty Cook posing with Highwayman Roy McLendon.
The artists were very gracious with autographs and photos. The stories of Highwaymen Collectors were fascinating and heartwarming.
One gentlemen had found a painting quite unexpectedly while shopping for pottery. Upon entering the pottery makers home, he recognized it as a Highwaymen painting, but it was unsigned. He purchased the artwork and brought it with him to the show here in Mount Dora to confirm if it was indeed a Highwaymen Painting. James Gibson himself recalled painting the piece in 1962. Gibson signed the back of the canvas and nearly doubled it's value in a matter of seconds.
Influenced by R. L. Lewis in the early 70s, long before the Highwaymen were even known, a former student turned art teacher came to seek out and thank his inspiration. It was quite a reunion as they had not seen each other in over 30 years.
To see more of the artists, stay tuned for our next post with more photos of the event!