The Least Among Us

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FORT WAYNE, IND. (WPTA21)-There is much to see at Artlink’s regional exhibition, paintings, sculpture, photography by gifted artists from seven states. But among all the beauty there is one bonafide star. His name is Floyd.

Sculpture just came to me it just started coming natural,” says sculptor Cynthia King, “I like the feelings I can put into it.”

In Cynthia King’s Fort Wayne studio a personality is being born.

I don’t have a plan necessarily they just start developing into somebody,” she says, “somebody that I saw walking down the street they just take on their own personality as I’m going. ‘They tell you who they are.’ They do.”

Cynthia King found art late in life. Laid off from her job, unable to find work because of her age, she went back to school, studied sculpture at IPFW and has been making art with a deeply personal social message ever since focusing on challenges that face the aging and in particular the plight of the homeless.

We have to make sure that we’re not judging these people because it could be any of us,” she says. “It could happen to anybody one day you’ve got a beautiful home next day you’re living in the street.”

Her subjects wear their suffering on their faces, a homeless couple confronting their of an uncertain future, an elderly man and wife confronting their own mortality. This is King’s image of the two sides of a homeless shelter, outside the line of souls waiting for help, inside a couple who’ve found temporary shelter from cold and hunger. The artist creates other work, gnomes that inspire a smile and a laugh, intricate shapes suspended in space by complex webs of taught string. But it’s her people, the least among us The Bible calls them, that mean most to Cynthia King, their sadness, vacant stares and damaged souls.

Don’t you know look at these people don’t judge them ’cause they have a hard life,” she explains. “The pride that they have to give up to stand on the street corner with a sign and ask for help, it’s got to be overwhelming they lose so much. I can’t imagine my life without art it’s my therapy it’s my emotional release it’s my message to people. I would like to be an artist that people talk about that people say her work gives us a message her work makes a difference.

Eric Olson reporting out in 21 Country.

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