Third Thursday, February 21, At Lighthouse ArtCenter Features Lecture By J. Marshall Adams And Focuses On The Life And Achievements Of A.E.Backus

The Lighthouse ArtCenter announces plans for an informative talk about the artist A.E.”Bean” Backus by J.Marshall Adams, the Executive Director of the A.E.Backus Museum & Gallery. The public is welcome to hear the lecture during the monthly 3rd Thursday reception on February 21.  Mr. Backus has a fascinating place in the history of Florida art, as the preeminent landscape painter and the teacher of Alfred Hair, one of the original Florida Highwaymen, a group of mostly self-taught artists who painted Florida landscapes starting in the 1940’s. Don’t miss the Exhibit, “Building Frank Lloyd Wright’s Guggenheim” available now through March 2.






Lighthouse ArtCenter Gallery

373 Tequesta Drive    Tequesta, Florida 33469

(561) 746-3101

Gallery Hours:
M-F 10 am – 4 pm      Sat 10 am – 2 pm

 First Saturday of the month no charge








Lighthouse ArtCenter Announces:

3rd Thursday

Thursday, February 21



J. Marshall Adams, Executive Director

 A.E. Backus Museum  & Gallery

5:30 – 7:30 pm

Wine and Hors d’oeuvres Reception

Free for Lighthouse ArtCenter members and $10 for non-members





A.E. “Bean” Backus painting en plein air, back country, St. Lucie County (late 1940s)







Mr. Marshall will present “Part Cracker, Part Monet: A.E. Backus.” As Florida’s preeminent landscape painter, A.E. “Bean” Backus (1906-1990), brought a natural eye and self-trained mastery to present the idyllic, rugged beauty of the glades, beaches, rivers, savannas, and back country of his home state with a singular devotion and unique sense of place. Mr. Marshall invites you to discover the compelling story of this artist’s creative practice and his altruistic spirit that continues to inspire today.




A.E. Backus (American, 1906-1990). Spanish Bayonets on the Indian River, c. 1960. Oil on canvas, 23 x 35 inches. Collection of the A.E. Backus Museum & Gallery, 2008.B.2.OC.2.



With a career spanning more than 70 years, Backus was the first Florida-born artist to build his professional renown by painting the landscape and scenes from daily life of his native state. He was fortunate to have known great success during his lifetime, with paintings hanging in the businesses and the private collections of many of Florida’s most prominent citizens. A renowned humanitarian who abhorred the racist attitudes and segregation that engulfed the region, Backus taught and mentored the group of entrepreneurial African American artists who became known as the Florida Highwaymen. Their inspiring story is part of the A.E. Backus legacy.




A.E. Backus (American, 1906-1990). Morning Light – Everglades, c. 1970. Oil on canvas, 24 x 30 inches. Collection of the A.E. Backus Museum & Gallery, 2009.B.1.OC.1.




J. Marshall Adams is the Executive Director of the A.E. Backus Museum & Gallery in Historic Downtown Fort Pierce, Florida. Adams brings more than 20 years of museum experience to his role, and has been recognized statewide and nationally for his work. He was previously the Director of Education at the Vero Beach Museum of Art, the Director of Education & Exhibitions at the Museum of Contemporary Art Jacksonville, and the Head of School Programs at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta. He has a Master’s in Museum Education from Bank Street College of Education in New York, and a Bachelor’s in Studio Art from Tulane University in New Orleans. The Backus Museum is a vital part of the cultural life of its community, and is well-regarded beyond for championing the history and legacy of A.E. Backus as one of the region’s most renowned artists, and as a humanitarian who felt that art was for everyone.




If your interest is piqued about the Highwaymen artists, the A.E. Backus Museum & Gallery presents the new exhibition Artists of Color: Place, Race, and Vision of the Florida Highwaymen, featuring 50 works by original Highwaymen Harold Newton, Alfred Hair, Roy McLendon, Sam Newton, Willie Daniels, Mary Ann Carroll, Livingston Roberts, and Johnny Daniels. The exhibition demonstrates in powerful images how the Highwaymen’s search for economic independence, creative freedom, and a distinctive vision blended together in a way that transformed how we see the landscapes before us. The exhibition features works from private collections, many never exhibited before, and is curated by Roger Lightle. Artists of Color: Place, Race, and Vision of the Florida Highwaymen is on view through March 3, 2019.




About the A.E. Backus Museum & Gallery

With a recently added, multi-million dollar expansion, the A.E. Backus Museum & Gallery houses the nation’s largest public presentation of artwork by Florida’s preeminent painter, A.E. “Bean” Backus (1906-1990), and is home to the state’s only permanent multimedia exhibition on the Florida Highwaymen. In addition to preserving and perpetuating the artistic and humanitarian legacy of Backus, the Museum organizes and hosts changing exhibitions from artists of national and international acclaim. It was voted “Best Museum 2018” in Indian River Magazine’s annual “Best of the Treasure Coast,” where it was described as “a fabulous place to visit.” The 58th Season of exhibitions, programs, and events continues through June.





For further information about this event, classes, exhibits, or tours:

Please call (561) 746-3101 or go to

The Lighthouse ArtCenter, a 501c (3) not-for-profit, was founded in 1964 by eight artists and Christopher Norton. In the last 54 years it has grown to include a gallery, school of art, gift shop, and art supply store. Supported by memberships, sponsors, and grants the ArtCenter now serves over 20,000 guests, 2,500 students, 45 faculty members, 500 summer ArtCampers and a comprehensive outreach program to benefit underserved and disabled residents in the community.

Lighthouse ArtCenter Gallery

 373 Tequesta Drive Tequesta, Florida  33469

(561) 746-3201

Monday – Friday 10 am – 4 pm

Saturday 10 am – 2 pm


Lighthouse ArtCenter School of Art and Art Supply Store

395 Seabrook Road Tequesta, Florida 33469


Monday – Friday 9 am – 5 pm

Saturday 9 am – 4 pm






For coverage of your events, to place an advertisement, or speak to Rickie about appearing in The Rickie Report, contact:

Rickie Leiter, Publisher   561-537-0291

17019 SW Sapri Way   Port St. Lucie, FL 34986



A J Brown, 2nd Generation, Carries On The Florida Highwaymen Legacy

A J Brown, 2nd Generation carries on the Florida Highwaymen legacy. Beginning in the 1950’s, a group of black artists painted Florida, the picturesque paradise that it was. “ Highwaymen”, a name given later in the late 90’s, were fitting for the men doing just that – selling their art along the side of major highways. People, who saw them along Florida’s highways, still remember the young entrepreneurs and enjoy sharing their memories. A J Brown, a renown Second Generation Highwaymen,  shares a detailed history of the Highwaymen and introduces her iconic artwork in this Rickie Report article.





2nd Generation Highwaymen





AJ Brown tells us, “Harold Newton and Alfred Hair started a tradition of recruiting mostly friends and a few relatives, as they taught each other to paint; watching and learning from each other; then took to US Highway 1 to sell their recent productions, most times together, sometimes alone, sometimes in competition. Hair was the only painter mentored by prominent white artist, A E Backus.  Florida scenes came from the trunks of their cars while the paintings were still wet dripping with oils. Who sells wet art? Signatures scratched in with nails? The Highwaymen did! Using tree trunks as easels, Upson board for canvas, a knife or finger as a brush, crown molding for frames, 2×4’s and plywood as the assembly line. Makeshift materials served well, a means of getting by. They had to paint fast during segregated times of the Deep South as a matter of survival. They were searching for an escape, a way out living a hard life working orange groves, packing houses, and tomato fields”.




AJBrownprimitive PoincianaIMG_1625

“Primitive Poinciana” by A J Brown




Their use of color on top of more colors, mixing and matching was eye catching to locals and tourists, who bought their art, returned to their homes, transporting what was not yet history to far away countries and unknown parts of the world. Twenty five men and one female of the first Original group emerged from painters to artists. Each  worked the highways which played a significant role to the development of the movement which brought about multiple changes in the history of black cultural and America. The young artists sold their paintings door to door for $15.00 – $35.00.





“Stormy Palms” by A J Brown




The Original Generation of Highwaymen Artists began in Fort Pierce.  These African American painters finally gained the recognition they deserved, as 26 of them were inducted into the Florida Artist Hall of Fame in 2004. The Original movement led to The 2nd Generation Historic movement, as a selected few African Americans were mentored by an Original, Johnny Lee Daniels. He painted for over four decades and dedicated his life to teaching and helping so many. Daniels was the “only Original investing years of mentoring protégés as one close family”: Jimmy and Johnny Stovall; Kelvin Hair, A J Brown and Richard Edwards. This distinct Generation is collective of blood relatives and a few close friends. As one group, the 2nd Gen produces their original hand painted raw essence of nature, passed down from their predecessors. The group’s serene landscapes speak across generations.




“Daniels owned two Highwaymen Art Galleries in Fort Pierce, Florida; made Johnny and Kelvin his business partners in his first gallery and A J his business partner. This well-respected, self-taught entrepreneur was gifted with impeccable talent and known for reflecting his personal love for God’s nature and wildlife in his paintings. Never realizing, he bridged an important historic connection from the Originals to the 2nd Generation.  Salsa painted orange skies, pink clouds, red trees and water ways were some of our subjects”, AJ reminisces.




AJBrownpickin oranges in FloridaIMG_1696

“Picking’ Oranges” by A J Brown





A J Brown shares, “Help us preserve the importance of America’s educational art history for future generations to embrace…The Originals supported and encouraged us, because our generation, our history, our lives matter! The magic remains in the beautiful historic landscapes of our generation…The 2nd Generation goals honors leaders Newton, Hair and twenty four pioneers by preserving America; painting Florida’s historical landscapes while keeping our history accurate, as it is passed on. Highwaymen Art is a magical nostalgic representation of a time lost, a distinctive brand worthy of preserving. Both generations are Grand enough for the White House”!




Born in Virginia and raised by a single mother and Seminole Indian grandmother in northern FL, A J Brown’s family were migrant fruit and vegetable pickers, from Tallahassee, FL. She tells us, “ Life offered hardships of living in camps traveling from highway to highway…during elementary years, attending Means Court Elementary in Fort Pierce, and over ten different schools, and fifteen addresses, I had no permanent home to call my own, a “Highwaymen” in every sense of the word. Growing up during the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960’s, in the Deep South, I was among the first students to end segregation… before day break, early each morning I woke to take three buses out of my neighborhood across town to desegregate one white school in another town in 1970”.




AJBrownmoonlite over rivers edge IMG_1765

“Moonlite Over Rivers Edge” by A J Brown





Brown is a former community service work member helping scores of kids in need and is considered one of the best of the Second Generation. “Images of the vividly colored red Poinciana and purple Jacaranda trees along the southern coastal bayous of Florida are trademarks of my paintings. Taught to me by James Gibson, who said to me; “keep the Poincianas a secret”, and like a Highwaymen family recipe, I replied, “yes”.






AJ Brown’s Family Legacy of Serving Their Country 



Highwaymen history lives on as President Obama and the First Lady added two of my paintings to their collection. During a military meet-and-greet, thanking soldiers and their families, in December, 2014, A J Brown was honored to present her painting to the First Family, President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama at Marine Corps Base Kaneohe Bay in Hawaii. She describes it as a “once in a lifetime experience! It was impressive and exciting” ! This was especially poignant because A J is a member of a longstanding family of veterans.





AJBrowndocked by Poinciana palmsIMG_1572

“Docks by Poinciana Palms” by A J Brown





Brown often speaks to people who say, they love their Highwaymen piece and are happy they bought it and meets those who regret they didn’t. “I live Highwaymen Art, I love Highwaymen Art because it has no rules; It’s kinda like the Wild Wild West, when there were no laws”, says Brown. Brown speaks from experience as she recalls growing up as an active part of the Civil Rights Movement as a time of inequality, ” for me as female, it still exists. Growing up during segregated times, night time didn’t catch you out or across the tracks in neighborhoods; beaten, arrested or worse would be your fate. Tradition among the Highwaymen has long been The Originals and the 2nd Gen. I am 2nd Generation. I strive for freedom of speech; promote respecting each other and asking that others respect us, equality for each member; unity for the Highwaymen; we are a group; we are also individuals trying to earn a living”.






Hall of Fame Original Florida Highwaymen Artist Johnny Lee Daniels painted 40 years when his life ended May 26, 2009. Daniels mentored The next 2nd Generation Historic group of five. A J Brown was authorized to construct his grave-site monument at Pine Grove Cemetery in Fort Pierce, Florida. 1000 block avenue L section 2-N.




“In the 1950’s Highwaymen paintings captured the raw mystique of Florida: Swaying Palms, Royal Poincianas, backcountry wet marshes and woodlands, with moonlit skies and waterscapes. Discover this nostalgic art brand. A traditional part of America’s history is an investment collected by thousands since the 50’s. Future generations may share the same experiences as the generation before them. Collect the art of all the Generations”!



Relaying more history, AJ says, “In May, 2009 the Highwaymen established the first historical 501c3 to open a museum, electing the first President MaryAnn Carroll. I was honored to be  officially appointed and authorized to perform the duties of the Secretary. The group was Florida Highwaymen Artist and History Center, Inc. During meetings the Highwaymen acknowledged and agreed on blood and non-blood artists to continue their traditions. Artists painting before 2009 and the establishments of both 501c3’s were included. The 2nd Generation wishes to pass it on and acknowledge their 3rd & 4th Gen, including Jalisa R Broughton, known as Salsa, age ten”. A collection of her paintings is archived by A J Brown, her grandmother, dating back to 2009.





“Tangerine Skies” by A J Brown





“The Florida we grew up in is the Florida they painted and now we paint. Each generation holds an important specific role for their era and is of great relevance to the other. Distinctive expressions of the Deep South were painted by this unlikely group of African Americans.  I persevere to exist.. to eat from my art. I am female, African American and one person, in America and in this group. I am grassroots. I strive to bring about change and awareness so others see my true representation. Our paintings, our history, our Florida, through our eyes; worthy of significant recognitions for our hard work to open doors for extraordinary earnings that would sustain our livelihoods and honors our place in time; in history, so both generations can finally enjoy the fruits of our labor. Both generations are recognized, valued for our art; honored for our history; our endurance, and unity, crossing barriers of all times”, AJ states.



For more information please contact:
A J Brown 2nd Generation
Highwaymen Artist
(772) 882-0446



For coverage of your events, to place an advertisement, or speak to Rickie about appearing in The Rickie Report, contact:

Rickie Leiter, Publisher

The Rickie Report

P.O.Box 33423

Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33420


Hobe Sound Mural Project Highlights Highwayman Artist Jimmy Stovall

A new piece of Florida history is being created on a section of Dixie Highway in Hobe Sound!   Highwayman artist Jimmy Stovall is lending his vision and talents to Hobe Sound Murals Project #18, on the Jenkins Landscape building at 12260 SE Dixie Hwy, one-half mile south of Bridge Road.  The Rickie Report shares images and an invitation to drive to Hobe Sound and experience this growing Mural Project.  Kudos to Landmark Arts Coordinator, Nadia Utto, for spearheading this non-profit public art initiative!  We urge you to drive by slowly and take a peek! 




LandmarkArts square logo for email signature small


Landmark ARTS Inc

non profit public art


Highwayman Painter, Jimmy Stovall

Creates a Mural

Hobe Sound,  Florida

The public is invited to stop by as this mural is still in progress at:

Jenkins Landscape

12260 SE Dixie Hwy, one-half mile south of Bridge Road


LandmarkArts06-15-15 Mural Brochure - Outside



17 Hobe Sound murals have been completed thus far, thanks to the significant volunteer efforts of over 40 regional artists. The murals project also began offering informative and fun tours this year.   Artists are welcome to get involved.

Go to



LandmarkArts06-16-15- jenkins hs mural map brochure inside


Local professional artist Nadia Utto, who has been the Hobe Sound Murals project coordinator since 2009, is facilitating this project, assisted by artist Heather Stevens Weese. Hobe Sound Murals is part of Landmark Arts, Inc., a non-profit organization dedicated to “Creating Community Culture.”




Original Painting by Highwayman Jimmy Stovall, the inspiration for the Jenkins Mural in Hobe Sound

Original Painting by Highwayman Jimmy Stovall, the inspiration for the Jenkins Landscaping Mural in Hobe Sound



Much of the original travel route from Detroit to Miami, Dixie Highway,  has been absorbed into modern routes.  A new piece of Florida history is being created on a section of Dixie Highway in Hobe Sound! Highwayman artist Jimmy Stovall is lending his vision and talents to Hobe Sound Murals Project #18, on the Jenkins Landscape building at 12260 SE Dixie Hwy, one-half mile south of Bridge Road.


Highwayman, Jimmy Stovall works with Muralist in Hobe Sound at Jenkins Landscaping

Highwayman, Jimmy Stovall works with Muralist in Hobe Sound at Jenkins Landscaping


Jimmy’s work reflects his continuing interest in preserving the vision of the pristine Florida he remembers from his youth, and the countryside vista in this mural includes two of his signature motifs – a serene distant horizon and a radiant Poinciana tree. This genre is also location-appropriate, as three generations of the Jenkins family have provided idyllic and design balanced landscapes for over 56 years.


Business owners Harold and Susan Jenkins, who have long admired the beauty and scenic topics of Highwaymen paintings, are proud to sponsor this one-of-a-kind mural on their newly renovated building façade.



Mural #8 at GFWC Women's Club

Hobe Sound Mural #8 at GFWC Women’s Club “Pillars Of The Community”


Jimmy is one of “The Highwaymen” painters, from the Ft. Pierce area, who sold their Florida landscape paintings door-to-door and out of their vehicles along local roadways from the 1950s through 80s. The Highwaymen finally achieved recognition in the 1990s, when critics began to praise the uniqueness of their folk art, fast oil painting style and self-promotion techniques.



Hobe Sound Mural #3  "Ocean Jazz"

Hobe Sound Mural #3 “Ocean Jazz”


Jimmy holds the unusual distinction of being known as “The 27th Highwayman.” Although he is acknowledged by his peers as a true member of the group, he was in Miami after Hurricane Andrew and was not available to be interviewed for what would become a book about 26 painters of this ‘outsider art’ style.



Hobe Sound Mural #13 "Four Seasons"

Hobe Sound Mural #13 “Four Seasons”


Jimmy is the last painter who was personally taught his craft by one of the founding Highwaymen, Alfred Hair, who had been mentored by the well-known A.E. “Beanie” Backus. Both Hair and Backus have been inducted into the Florida’s Artists Hall of Fame.  This mural will also be the very first publicly accessible exterior mural by a Highwayman.



For more information, please contact project coordinator Nadia Utto:  561-762-9202

Landmark Arts, Inc.      PO Box 533, Hobe Sound, FL 33475

Contact the Hobe Sound Chamber of Commerce

772-546-4724 for more information on upcoming scheduled tours.


For coverage of your events, to place an advertisement, or speak to Rickie about appearing in The Rickie Report, contact:

Rickie Leiter, Publisher

The Rickie Report

P.O.Box 33423

Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33420