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April 4-6, 2025

Word of South

Gary Monroe

Gary Monroe, a native of Miami Beach, is professor of fine arts at Daytona State College. He has photographed throughout Brazil, Israel, Cuba, India, Trinidad, Poland, and Egypt, among other international destinations. He is best known for his long-term photographic involvements with the elderly’s old world culture of South Beach, Haiti during the end of the Duvalier regime and foray into democracy, and tourism as a rite of passage. He has received various honors and distinctions for his work, including two National Endowments for the Arts, four Florida Humanities Council Fellowships, a State of Florida arts fellowship, and two Fulbright Foundation fellowships.

Mr. Monroe came to writing for publication at mid-career to better understand the aesthetics of Outsider art. He is the author of the acclaimed book, The Highwaymen: Florida’s African-American Landscape Painters, and three other books on the Highwaymen artists. He has written nine books, most of which acknowledge unrecognized self-taught Florida artists, including the definitive book about the state’s Outsider artists, Extraordinary Interpretations: Florida’s Self-taught Artists. His most recent book, E. G. Barnhill: Florida Photographer, Adventurer, Entrepreneur, highlights the artist’s stunning hand-colored photographs made as “tourist art” in the early 1900s.