BROKEN ARROW, LAWSON KING
Downtown Cleveland, Mississippi
A native of the Mississippi Delta, Lawson King is a newcomer to the world of sculpture and public art; but his debut piece is both emotionally riveting and deeply personal. As a junior art major at Delta State University in 2015, King, like the entire collective campus, was shook by the murder of beloved Professor Ethan Schmidt on September 14. “I lost my father at a young age to the hands of gun violence and when that happened on campus, when we were locked down, unsure of what was happening, I knew I was scared and that brought back a lot of emotion. Creating Broken Arrow was my way of paying tribute to Dr. Schmidt and his love of Native American history, but I think it was also a reaction to that emotion. It was how I processed and, as I’ve continued to talk to people about this piece, I’m learning my art is helping to heal. It’s a salve to our campus community, Cleveland; and that is powerful and also extremely humbling,” King shares.