GRETNA, La. (WGNO) — A local artist and sheriff’s deputy is painting officers killed in the line of duty, and he’s giving those paintings to the families of those killed.

“First and foremost, I always gain permission to paint the fallen deputy or officer. Once I am finished, I try to meet with the family before the funeral services to that I can give it to them for the service,” Rodney King, an artist and Plaquemines Parish deputy said.

For 11-years now, King’s been memorializing fallen officers killed in the line of duty on canvas.

“I just hope it gives them the hope and an appreciation for their loved ones who paid the ultimate sacrifice,” he said.

It is always emotional when King gives the painting to the grieving families.

“A lot of tears, a lot of thanks, a lot of hugs,” he said.

King went on to say, “I was actually in the mortuary business for 10 years embalming them, so it is kind of the same idea to memorialize them. I want to regenerate their essence, put their soul onto a canvas.”

For him, it’s even more personal.

“I am a deputy sheriff in Plaquemines Parish. Anything could happen in a blink of an eye for me, at a traffic stop or on a call,” he said.

King’s now branched out with his art, having his first ever gala this Saturday, September 16 at 6 p.m. at Stained Glass Wine House in Gretna. There will also be a silent auction run by Pro Dream Sports Auction House.

“When we found out about Rodney we wanted to help. Being a first responder who also wants a creative outlet for their passions. We are all National Guard members ourselves here at Stained Glass Wine House. It is absolutely beautiful what he does,” said Stained Glass Wine House owner Kyle Gregore.

At Saturday’s Rodney King Art gala, they will be unveiling King’s brand-new painting, and they will be raffling off tickets for a special painting with pelicans on it. The proceeds from the raffle will go to “Help for Heroes.”

“Help for Heroes” is a foundation that helps families of fallen officers,” Gregore said.

And it is these heroes that King wants to give his heart and art for.

“I feel the best way to memorialize someone is for an artist to put his time, passion into a canvas. That pure emotion, that is what it is all about,” King said.

There will be music, food, and wine at Rodney King’s art gala this Saturday.

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