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News & Events

Sam Knecht's painting, Last Rays, accepted to ArtPrize 2018.

Last Rays Oil Painting Accepted in ArtPrize 2018

This panoramic sunset is inspired by thrilling moments watching the sun touch the horizon as viewed from the Leelenau region shoreline of Lake Michigan.


View ArtPrize Entry

Measuring 68” wide it will be featured in the Women’s City Club during the ArtPrize festival in Grand Rapids, Michigan from September 20 to October 8, 2017.

Sam Knecht accepts Signature Status from the Portrait Society of America

Knecht Honored by Portrait Society

The Portrait Society of America bestows Signature Status on Sam Knecht, April 2017. This honorary status grants the right to use the initials of the organization (PSS-Portrait Society Signature)

on all personally created works as an indication of  harmonious high standards and goals, to create, to advance and to share. 


To qualify for Signature status the artist's work must demonstrate exceptional merit, the artist must hold current membership in the Portrait Society of America, and have been accepted in either:

  1. Portrait Society International Portrait Competition, held annually

  2. Portrait Society Members Only Competition, held annually or:

  3. Any other nationally juried exhibition at an equivalent level.

(photo to left) Knecht with fellow recipients Robert Barrett and Ricky Mujica receive awards at the Art of the Portrait Conference held in Atlanta, April 2017.

Cecelia Beaux portrait of Ernesta Drinker Barlow

April 2016

Knecht served as member of the 2016 Distinguished Faculty for the Annual Conference of the Portrait Society of America. For the Society’s Cecilia Beaux Forum he gave a 90 minute Powerpoint lecture on two paintings by Cecilia Beaux (1855-1943) recently donated to Hillsdale College. The paintings depict the artist’s niece, Ernesta Drinker Barlow and had been out of public view for nearly 80 years.

2010 - present
2010 - present
Sam Knecht paints Plein Air in Michigan's Upper Peninsula

July 2016

Sam was one of three artists selected to be 2016 artist-in-residence in the Porcupine Mountains State Wilderness Park in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. His residency lasted nearly three weeks in July and included lodging in a rustic cabin in the Park. Duties consisted of providing a 2-hour public painting demonstration at fabled Lake of the Clouds as well as providing the Park with an original artwork inspired by his stay. Knecht produced a dozen paintings while there and has plans for more based on his photos and sketches “There were some challenges of living in a cabin in the woods lacking electricity and running water, but I loved every minute of it,” recalls the artist. “The Porcupine Mountains are not just a Michigan treasure, but a national one. Pristine wilderness full of rivers, waterfalls, plus old-growth forests are a treat for the landscape painter’s eye and brush.”

Sam Knecht - La Passarella a Venezia

July 2016

La Passarella a Venezia, an egg tempera by Knecht received an Honorable Mention Award in the 80th Annual Midyear Juried Exhibition held by the Butler institute of American Art, Youngstown, OH. 

August 2016

La Passarella a Venezia receives one of twelve Finalist Awards in the Portrait/Figure competition hosted by the Artists’ magazine. 

Sam Knecht - Michigan Majesty

September, 2016

Knecht has a large oil painting accepted into ArtPrize, the “radically open” art extravaganza that takes over the city of Grand Rapids each fall. His piece, “Michigan Majesty” depicts Tahquamenon Falls of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula in autumn. The venue for Knecht’s painting is the Women’s City Club of Grand Rapids located at 254 E. Fulton St. ArtPrize runs between September 21 and October 9, 2016.  Click on for details.

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