For the first time, “Bargain Block” host Keith Bynum has publicly acknowledged his mom’s cancer diagnosis, and the grief that came with it, by sharing what helped him face the news: creating art. Bynum often incorporates his artistic talents into home decor on his hit HGTV show, partnering with his co-host and fiancé of over five years, Evan Thomas, to renovate abandoned homes in Detroit.
In June 2022, Heavy broke the news that the HGTV star’s mother, LaQuita Jolene Bynum, died June 10 at her sister’s home in Midland, Texas. Her death, at age 63, came just one month after her famous son shared on Instagram that they had begun repairing their relationship after years of estrangement. Until now, Bynum had not commented on his mother’s illness.
Keith Bynum Shares The Painting That Helped Him Cope
On Aug. 7, Bynum shared a large landscape painting with fans, posting it to the @keiths_art_page Instagram feed where he occasionally shares artwork he’s personally created. He titled the piece “Facing The Storm.”
“The day I found out my mama had brain cancer,” Bynum wrote, “I just couldn’t do anything that day but paint. This was the painting.” He added the hashtag #artistherapy.
The caption in Bynum’s painting, of a person facing storm clouds behind two enormous mountains in the desert, marks the first time he’s publicly confirmed his mom’s brain cancer diagnosis. In a previous Instagram story, which only remains public for 24 hours, he did share a post about glioblastoma, which the Mayo Clinic describes as “an aggressive type of cancer that can occur in the brain or spinal cord,” and that it “can be very difficult to treat and a cure is often not possible.”
Bynum had shared an Instagram reel of the new painting in progress on April 18, with the song “High Vibration” by Spiritual Moment playing over the video. In the caption, he didn’t mention his mom’s diagnosis at the time, simply sharing, “Since it’s snowing I decided to catch up on some art. Storms are rolling in on high desert.”
Less than a month later, he shared that he was back home in his native Texas, reconnecting with his mom after years of estrangement.
Bynum Reconciled With Mother Before Her Death
On May 11, Bynum posted a photo on Instagram of himself smiling and holding hands with his mother, as she lay in a home hospital bed. He captioned the photo, “It’s never too late to start again” and included the hashtag #lovemymama.
Growing up in West Texas, Bynum discovered his love of design and entrepreneurship at an early age. He launched his first company at age 14, according to his company website. He worked in construction and home design, opening stores with his sister Joni featuring their repurposed wall decor.
But things did not go well when the artistic young man revealed his sexual orientation to his family. In an HGTV Pride Month video released in June 2021, Bynum opened up to longtime HGTV host David Bromstad about his family’s reaction.
“It did not go well when I came out, so they have essentially disowned me,” he told Bromstad at the time. “I just kept working, and Evan kept helping have me focus on what we love doing, and it got to a point now where I realize it’s their loss. It’s not going to hold me back from having a fabulous life and being who I am.”
It is not clear whether Bynum also reconciled with his sister and dad, but his latest Instagram Stories posted on Aug. 8, revealed that he was back in Texas — outside a Rosa’s Cafe Tortilla Factory in Fort Worth — to catch up with a “favorite” friend.
Some of Bynum’s original paintings, as well as reproductions of popular pieces, are available via his and Thomas’s Nine Design + Homes website.