Highwayman McLendon Jr. is Main Street Vero’s artist of month

VERO BEACH – Main Street Vero Beach is honored to have one of the Highwaymen as their November artist of the month. Roy Algin McLendon Jr. was born in the town of Bridgeton, a city in the farming area of southern New Jersey on Oct. 7, 1955. When he was born, his parents Roy McLendon Sr. and Annie B. McLendon were migrant workers that had traveled to the northern states for seasonal work.

Shortly after his birth, Roy and his family returned to Gifford where his father began his artistic quest that was inspired by his neighbor Harold Newton, a deceased Florida Highwaymen.

Landscape and seascape permeated his childhood along with an occasional still life or portrait. A natural artist from drawing in the sand to paint and brush. In his teen years Roy began to paint alongside and sell his painting with his father, Florida Artist Hall of Fame Roy McLendon Sr. Florida Highwayman Al Black who started as a salesman for some of the artist, also sold some paint for RA McLendon Jr.

In the summer of 2011 The Florida Highwaymen Artist held a meeting and voted to draft a letter to submit to The Florida Artist Hall of Fame requesting that Roy A. McLendon Jr. be added to the list of Florida Highwaymen Artist and receive recognition as an original Highwaymen. He is the only of any Florida Highwaymen children that meets qualifications.

As a little boy growing up in the south, flower, a citrus picker, wild life, birds, a deer and other small animals, a wooden house on blocks, kids playing and clothes hanging on the clothes line give fondest memories of days gone by but stand very vivid in his mind.

Roy’s material of trade at his start was that of the most Upson board and crown molding for framing. His median of choice is oil paint. He is known for his renditions of southern subjects and Caribbean scenes, a fusion of Florida’s lush landscapes with childhood memories of home places, back country sunsets, Royal Poinciana and the moonlit rivers and lakes.

The figures of African American fishing nets or mending nets, once an everyday sight in communities are often incorporated in his landscape scenes. From the Atlantic, the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean incites a desire in him to paint so that people not just see what he creates, but feels his creation. His goal was to make what was not accepted as fine art which is Highwaymen Art, to become recognized as fine art and he has accomplished it through the professionalism and dedicated artistry of his work.

Roy’s artist reception will be Nov. 3 during the monthly Gallery Stroll from 5 – 8 p.m. Stop by 2036 14th Ave. in the arts district of downtown Vero Beach and meet this amazing artist and all the resident artist that make up the Main Street Vero Beach office. You will find Barbara Sharp, Megan Werneke and Clair Brunetti.

For more information on Main Street Vero Beach contact info@mainstreetverobeach.org or www.mainstreetverobeach.org or (772) 643-6782.

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