WILKES-BARRE -- There’s an artist in Wilkes-Barre doing what some might consider impossible.
We first told you about Luzerne County’s blind artist back in May. Now, months later, you can see some of this Welcoming Works of Art all around Wilkes-Barre in a couple dozen stores.
If Rob Hoyt could send one message with his artwork, he said it would be this.
“It says, ‘just because your board is broken doesn't mean you can't fly.’ Things happen to people, but you can still fly,” Hoyt said holding up one of his latest pieces of featuring a broken skateboard.
Hoyt is a legally blind artist who lost his sight because of complications with Type 1 diabetes.
Instead of letting that stop him, he uses a digital magnifier to create his paintings.
“I have not decided to give up, I have decided to give to others,” Hoyt said.
Since Newswatch 16 first introduced viewers to Hoyt, he has started chemotherapy treatment on his eyes.
His doctors said Hoyt will still be blind, but the procedure improved his sight by 15 percent.
“I can see things in a way that I haven't seen in five years. I can see the gleam coming off a puddle. I can see the highlights coming off your face and I haven't seen that since 2012,” Hoyt said.
Hoyt also has his Welcome Works of Art featured in businesses all across Wilkes-Barre. Some are being sold at Gayle’s Scents on South Main Street.
Store owner Rasheed Willis first met Hoyt on Public Square when he gave Willis a painting of a flower.
“From there he continued to bless me with some of his artistic work. We continued to talk about and we figured we could try to branch him out to the community,” Willis said.
At first, Hoyt was nervous about having his pieces sold.
“(I thought) ‘Is it good enough?’ And Rasheed said, 'Is it good enough? You're a blind painter! Don't people get it?’” Hoyt said.
Willis gave him the confidence he needed.
“It's not about the money. It's not about the selling. He is famous in my mind already because he overcame something. That's famous to me,” Willis said.
“I got a message from him, he says, ‘you're unlimited Rob. The only one who is going to get in your way is you, so get out of your way and let it happen,’” Hoyt said.
You can get your hands on one of Rob’s Works of Art at Gayle’s Scents on South Main Street Near Public Square.