Florida’s Self-taught Renegade Artists Presented By Gary Monroe

Florida Museum of Photographic Arts

Oct. 27, 2017, 05:00 am

400 N Ashley Drive, Cube 200
PHONE 813-221-2222


Introducing people to the world of Outsider art, this vivid PowerPoint-assisted lecture focuses on art that has been created by uninitiated artists who are distinguished by their idiosyncrasies and wild visions. Their works fly in the face of traditional art-making and is guaranteed to shake long-standing foundations. In recent years Outsider art has been co-opted into the museum culture, thereby altering our views about the nature of art and aesthetics. In this presentation, Mr. Monroe introduces twelve remarkable self-taught Florida artists, while exposing the ideas which led to their renegade creations.

When Gary Monroe isn’t traveling the world to photograph, he spends his time looking at life in Florida through his photography and his writings. His imagery and his literary works have been recognized by grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, Florida Department of State’s Division of Cultural Affairs, Florida Humanities Council, and the Fulbright Foundation. His long-term photography projects include Miami’s old-world Jewish community, Haiti and Haitian immigration, and tourism in the Sunshine State.

Focusing on self-taught and vernacular art, Mr. Monroe began his literary pursuits with The Highwaymen: Florida’s African-American Landscape Painters (UPF, 2001). In this book, he told the story of these painters and offers a fresh interpretation of their art. Consequently, public interest in these compelling, but forgotten, artists was revived. The New York Times wrote a Lively Arts front-page article about the book, saying that “These colorful landscapes… shaped the state’s popular image as much as oranges and alligators.” In subsequent books, including Harold Newton: The Original Highwayman and The Highwaymen Murals: Al Black’s Concrete Dreams, Mr. Monroe continued to tell this inspiring story. Additionally, he has brought the Highwaymen story to the citizenry of Florida through some 250 public lectures. Based on his nomination, these painters were inducted into the Florida Artists Hall of Fame in 2004. He has written other books about Florida art, including Extraordinary Interpretations: Self-taught Florida Artists (2003), Silver Springs: the Underwater Photographs of Bruce Mozert (2008), and Florida’s American Heritage River: Images from the St. Johns Region (2009).

“This program is sponsored by the Florida Humanities Council with funds from the Florida Department State, Division of Cultural Affairs and the Florida Council on Arts and Culture.”

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