The graves of two ‘Original’ Highwaymen artists who spent much of their lives painting and selling their works by the roadsides are being decorated with mosaic replicas of their own paintings.
Carnell ‘Pete’ Smith, one of the original 26 Highwaymen artists inducted into the Florida Artists Hall of Fame in 2004, died December 15, 2015 after an eight year battle with cancer. John Maynor, also one of the original 26 and a Florida Artists Hall of Fame inductee, died February 1. He was 67.
Local artist Anita Prentice was selected through a Request for Proposals (RFP) issued by the City of Fort Pierce to create beautiful mosaic glass replicas of each artist’s paintings to cover their graves. Artist Pat Cochran is providing engraved brass name plates to affix to the mosaic grave covers. Ms. Prentice previously created mosaic grave coverings for Highwaymen Alfred Hair and Livingston Roberts.
Anita and Pat completed Maynor’s grave the second week of June. They are preparing to begin work on Smith’s grave within the next few months.
Both artists are buried at Pine Grove Cemetery in Fort Pierce, which is the location of Highwaymen Heritage Trail Stop #3. Three other ‘Original Highwaymen Artists’ – Alfred Hair, Johnny ‘Hook’ Daniels and Livingston Roberts are also buried at Pine Grove. The City will be adding an additional Trail Marker #3 at the Pine Grove site to commemorate Smith and Maynor.
“The City of Fort Pierce is honored to be the home of the Highwaymen,” explained Mayor Linda Hudson. “We consider it a privilege to be able to recognize their contribution to the City of Fort Pierce, the State of Florida, our nation and the world.”
A 20-foot-tall obelisk honoring the artists, located in the center of the roundabout at Avenue D and N. 15th Street and a beautiful Poinciana Tree mosaic with brass plaques listing each of the 26 original artists on the west wall of the Intermodal Transit Station, 725 Avenue D, are two other Highwaymen Heritage Trail stops. Visit thehighwaymentrail.com for information on the Highwaymen artists.