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Stephen Knapp


1947 - 2017 Obituary Condolences
Stephen Knapp Obituary
Stephen A. Knapp, 70

Princeton - Stephen A. Knapp, an American artist who created lightpaintings, died on Friday, November 24, 2017, at Rose Monahan Hospice Home in Worcester. He was 70.

Named a 2017 "Game Changer" by the Boston Globe, Mr. Knapp is best known for his lightpaintings, one of the first new art media of the twenty-first century. Using a technique that shines light through glass to create a painting on the wall, his lightpaintings are studies of light, color, dimension, space and perception.

Mr. Knapp was born and raised in Worcester, a son of Walter and Antoinette (Jacobs) Knapp. He graduated from Worcester Academy and earned a Bachelor's Degree in History from Hamilton College in 1969. He married the love of his life, Frances (Frankie) Nichols in 1971, and together they raised their family and ran his studio.

A self-taught artist, Mr. Knapp began his career as a photographer and his art evolved through research and experimentation. He progressed to building large etched-metal panels, followed by the world's largest glazed-ceramic murals that are now permanently on display on the San Antonio, TX, Riverwalk. From here, Mr. Knapp began his decades long fascination with glass and light through the fabrication of kiln-formed glass walls and glass and steel sculpture, an example of which is at the Worcester Public Library.

His final decades were focused on lightpaintings, Mr. Knapp's light-based installations. They can be found in Massachusetts at the WPI campus, at Dana Farber in Boston, and in many private collections. He has had solo museum exhibitions at the Boise Art Museum, the Chrysler Museum of Art, the Naples Art Museum, the Butler Institute of American Art, the Dayton Art Institute, and the Flint Institute of Arts; his art is in collections across the globe. His work has been shown in galleries from New York City to Santa Fe to Chicago to Miami, and covered by the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Chicago Sun Times, ARTNews, and many more.

He will be lovingly missed and remembered by his beloved wife, Frankie Knapp; a daughter, Sarah Damaske and her husband Paul of State College, PA; a son, Jonathan Knapp of South Hadley; a brother, Joel Knapp of Jefferson; a sister, Cherie Olihovik of Millbury; his adored granddaughter, Charlotte Damaske; and several nieces and nephews.

Relatives and friends are invited to attend a memorial service to honor Mr. Knapp's life on Saturday, December 9 at 1 pm at the First Unitarian Church, 90 Main Street, Worcester. Burial will be private. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the First Unitarian Church of Worcester and the Southern Poverty Law Center. Arrangements are under the care of the Miles Funeral Home, 1158 Main St., Holden.

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Published in Worcester Telegram & Gazette from Nov. 26 to Dec. 3, 2017
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