A Future of Possibilities

“Driving Force: Alfred Hair and the Florida Highwaymen” will run at the Backus Museum Jan. 8 to Feb. 16. ROGER LIGHTLE COLLECTION

ROGER LIGHTLE COLLECTION“Ambition — Artist.” That’s what the late Alfred Hair’s yearbook photo says, right above a portrait of a captivating young man gazing into the distance, as if he’s imagining that future and exactly how he’s going to get there. A hint to the how is also right above the photo: “Hobby — Hot Rodding.’’ Before he died at the age of 29, the young man who loved art and cars had not only achieved his ambition but was the star of the movement of African-American landscape painters (and roadside art dealers) that would become known as the Highwaymen. In anticipation of an exhibition of Hair’s paintings at A.E. Backus Museum & Gallery opening this month, writer Catherine Enns Grigas, who has also penned a book about the Highwaymen, takes a look back at the artist who was always looking ahead.

In this issue, we also look back at some of your favorite local standouts in 2019. It’s our annual “Best of the Treasure Coast” readers poll. Your favorite beach, your favorite place for a romantic dinner and your favorite new business are just a few of the accolades on the list. But — as those of us who have chosen to live or vacation on the Treasure Coast know — our local landscapes, businesses and cultural offerings are already exceptional, so really what you’re getting is the best of the best.

And speaking of cultural offerings, we hope you will join us in downtown Fort Pierce from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 11, as we present the annual Treasure Coast History Festival. Step back in time for this free festival, an all-day event featuring historical re-enactors, ghost tours, historical trolley rides, sessions on historical topics and an old-Florida fish fry. You can read more about it on Page 36.

As we look ahead to a new year full of possibility, may yours be filled with beauty, joy
and prosperity.

Gregory Enns and Allen Osteen Signatures

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