Sam Knecht is an artist in the realist tradition. Like Americaís finest painters, past and present, he balances his creative output between portraiture and landscape painting.
Knecht is equally accomplished in oil, egg tempera, and watercolor painting. His oil paintings have earned awards in national competitions hosted by the American Society of Portrait Artists and The Artistís Magazine. An article he wrote covering the relationship between egg tempera and watercolor painting was published by American Artist magazine in November, 1980.
Commissioned portraits by Sam Knecht are found in prominent public collections such as the Michigan Supreme Court and Thomas M. Cooley Law School both in Lansing, Michigan, as well as Hillsdale College, Hillsdale, Michigan.
Journeying to paint landscapes, Knecht has ventured through and beyond his native state of Michigan. Over the years he has painted landscapes en plein air and taught painting courses in Florence, Italy, for the University of Michigan and Hillsdale College. The artist has also painted locales in Ontario, Mexico, Massachusetts, and Ohio.
Says the artist of his work, ďMy passion is to record what I see and love in the visible world. Surprising experiences of beauty can be discovered even in the most humble scene or face. Hopefully, each painting reveals not only the original subject but also a response of heart and mind.Ē
Knecht serves on the Board of Artist Advisors for American Renaissance for the Twenty-first Century (ART) Foundation in New York City. He served as Chairman of the selection jury for that organizationís national invitational exhibit The Legacy Lives that premiered at Lever House Galleries, Park Avenue, in 1996. Recently he was curator/producer of America Seen: Character in the American People and Landscape, a national invitational oil painting exhibit at Hillsdale College, October-November 2004.
He earned a Master of Fine Arts degree in painting at the University of Michigan and a Bachelor of Fine Arts at Michigan State University. He holds the rank of Professor of Art and Chairman, Department of Art at Hillsdale College in Hillsdale, Michigan where he has taught continuously since 1978. In demand for workshops and demonstrations, he has also taught selected courses at the School of Art and Design, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan.
Knechtís wife, Melissa Gerber Knecht, is a professional violinist and violist and Associate Professor of Music at Hillsdale College. Together with their daughters the Knechts live in a 19th century Gothic Revival house in they are restoring in Hillsdale.
Sam Knechtís artwork is represented by Rob Rousseau of Toledo, Ohio and Promethena in New York City.