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Quotations By the Highwaymen

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Alfred Warner Hair
“Let your mind wander – a pureness and spiritedness came through in the early works as the artists lost themselves in the physical act of painting rapidly.”

 

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Al Black
“I would sell to anybody, from motels to doctors and lawyers. Whoever I came across, I would try to get them to buy. Nobody was as good as me at selling. I could sell ice in Alaska. I traveled up the Atlantic seaboard, from Key West and all the way up to Portland, Maine – sometimes I would get thrown in jail for a few days, since a license is required in each state to sell. It was hard times.”

 

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James Gibson
Alfred Hair said to his good friend James Gibson, “James, if I did it, you can do it.”
Alfred was telling me this so he had some competition. That’s what he thrived on. We were young and competitive; painting was exhilarating. We would get together and paint for days, inspiring, motivating, and laughing with each other. Then, in different directions from Fort Pierce, we would take off on the highway selling our paintings from the trunk of our cars. From the beginning, some people collected our art. They would try to out do each other constantly. When Alfred made $125, I’d have to make $150. Then, he’d have to make $200. When I painted half a day, he painted all day. Then, I painted all night.”

 

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Mary Ann Carroll
“You must believe in yourself, even if no one else does. The Lord has blessed me. He gave me so much talent. I just haven’t been able to use it all.”

They said, “Man, we need to go make some money, but we ain’t got no car. I said I’ve got one. – If you show me how to sell mine, I’ll take you. I made $75 in one day. In the 1960s, that was a lot of money since most people only made $35 to $75 a week.”

 

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Robert Butler
“My focus is on the river and streams of Florida. I wanted to do documentary painting in the style of Norman Rockwell to bring attention to Florida.”

 

Pete Smith

Carnell (Pete) Smith
“Anything was better than working in the fields. I never ran into any hardship on the road. Everything has to do with who you are. You have some people who are racist, some white people who just don’t like blacks.”

 

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Charles Walker
“To some black artists, wildlife art is foreign, but to me, it’s home.”