Tennyson teacher takes 2nd in local art contest

Tennyson teacher takes 2nd in local art contest
Posted on 09/22/2017

The Escape Party by Shawn Knuckles

Tennyson Middle School visual arts teacher Shawn Knuckles recently entered an art contest in which artists submitted thought-provoking and artistically-savvy responses to climate change. Knuckles’ entry, “The Escape Party,” was awarded 2nd place, which included a $400 prize.

His piece, an ink and oil on canvas, was one of a series of paintings he had done on the environment. Knuckles spent about a month creating this particular painting as he explored the inspiration for his work. 

"The concept is that we will have floods, fire, earthquakes and other things that will happen to man. It will be on television and in the papers, and we will watch as entertainment,” he said. “And someone will be making money off the suffering of others." It is a topic about which Knuckles feels very strongly.

Knuckles has been working in oils for about 30 years, since he was a junior in high school. He earned his bachelor’s degree in fine arts with a teaching certificate from the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor in 2006 and a master’s degree in art education from Texas Tech University in 2013.

Knuckles began his teaching career in Eagle Pass, Texas, 12 years ago and came to Tennyson Middle School two years after that. He says he believes in the goals of Tennyson and loves working with the students and fellow art teachers in the district.

"We have so much going on this year in the visual arts because Waco now has an Arts District, and we are behind helping our future artists. This is why I teach art,” Knuckles said. “I am helping the next generation of artists, and I can't wait to see if we produce any great artists."

Waco ISD is proud of Mr. Knuckles and feels fortunate that he brings his passion to the classroom as he teaches students the importance of the visual arts as an effective medium for communication and expression.

Coming up for the Tennyson Texan Visual Arts Department:

  • Waco Cultural Arts Festival (free to the public): Oct. 6-8
  • Annual Bowls for Art: Students have been making bowls to sell this November to raise funds for art supplies. The bowls will be $10.00 each and can be filled with dinner at the event.
  • A new art contest for students in kindergarten through 12th grade, “Painting Our Future,” will take place in May. Art teachers are building and stretching canvas for the students, and supplies were purchased with a grant from the Waco ISD Education Foundation, sponsored by H-E-B.