A lightpainting created by Stephen Knapp ’69 hangs outside Wellin Hall.

Alumni artist Stephen Knapp ’69 is the subject of a short documentary by Emmy award-winning filmmaker Joel W. Dein. The film captures the fascinating and unique art that Knapp has been creating for nearly 45 years.

As noted on his lightpaintings website, “Stephen Knapp is a contemporary American artist best known as the creator of lightpaintings, the first new art medium of the twenty-first century.”

According to his website, Knapp states, “I have been fascinated with light all my life, both for what it can do and for the effect it has on us. In all my prior mediums I’ve used light in ways that are not always apparent. When I found a way to uniquely express myself in light, I embraced it fully. With my lightpaintings I separate white light into pure color and ‘paint’ with light. Each piece has a presence that far exceeds its physical dimensions. At once both physical objects and illusions, they remind us that dreams, hopes and aspirations are the center of art’s ability to touch the human spirit.”

Knapp is grateful to the education he received at Hamilton College and acknowledges that its liberal arts curriculum is one of the many reasons for his success as an artist. He noted that his skills, learned at Hamilton, have allowed him “to research and explore and grow” lightpaintings.

Knapp's lightpaintings website also noted, “He has gained an international reputation for large-scale works of art held in museums, public, corporate and private collections. His abstract light installations have been featured in solo museum exhibitions at the Boise Art Museum, the Chrysler Museum of Art, the Naples Art Museum, the Butler Institute of American Art and the Flint Institute of Arts, among others. His work has appeared in many international publications including Art and Antiques, Architectural Record, ARTnews, The Asahai Shimbun, Ceramics Monthly” and others.

While at Hamilton, he majored in history, was a member of Theta Delta Chi and was actively involved with the cerebral-palsy program. He was also a photographer for the senior yearbook, The Hamiltonian.

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