The watermedia and mixed media paintings, drawings, and prints of Costanza Knight, also known as Connie Knight, are contemporary expressions that explore and celebrate the human form and the landscape. These images often take place in gravity free worlds and portray humankind in both states of joy and pathos.
Poetry and narratives are often her inspiration. She dramatically interprets them by creating a series of paintings that actually tell a story. In a sense, they are poetic art. As a former speech and language pathologist, she sees a direct connection between teaching communication and interpreting the human experience through her artwork.
A Floridian by birth, Costanza spent her summers in Saluda, North Carolina, where she took painting lessons from her father, also an artist.Her first realization that she wanted to formalize her interest in art came when she was attending university in Florence, Italy. She took a figure drawing class and fell in love with the process of breathing life into her drawings. She studied art there and at the University of North Carolina in Asheville. She has been painting ever since. Her work is in private and university collections around the country.
Costanza has been teaching art for over 25 years and considers it a very important part of her life work. She offers art classes for children and young adults in an open studio setting. Students are able to explore the media of choice once they have gained a basic knowledge of its use. She tells her students that they are all artists and gives each one the chance to experience and know that. A sign in her class explains that there are no mistakes in art.
Costanza lives in Hendersonville, North Carolina, with her husband Richard. Jordan, Ariel, and Jesse are her adult children and her beloved human works of art. She is currently working out of her studio on Whitehall Lane.
"Connie, I had several guests visiting a few weeks ago and a few of them went around carefully looking at all my art, She Rose got special attention particularly from two men which I found a bit unusual. They loved the color and the motion of the painting as well as the story.I'm not sure if I told you this before but last year I presented the book the invention of wings to my book club. I took the painting in to our meeting as it illustrated the myth that gives the book its title. My club members were very impressed. I continue to love this painting and thank you for it. "
"In my heart not only is this watercolor just plain beautiful it is also so apropos to the human condition. We have all experienced freedom, rising up and flying free. We long to experience that again only to find much to our continual surprise - so well expressed in this piece - that we are bound in our protoplasmic state. Being a student of Vedanta I finally understand that it's only through the knowledge of who I am that I fly with continual freedom unhinged by the human condition. Three is also a powerful symbol in many studies. This is an awesome piece that continually inspires me. Thank you Costanza Knight. I am proud to have you in my collection.
'Your circus paintings are loved by anyone that comes to my office. You must come by and see them!'.
"Your wonderful art has become a permanent fixture in African American Studies."
-Director of African American Studies Dept. at Virginia Commonwealth University
"We just love Costanza's Paintings in our living room next to our baby grand piano."
"Your art moves me - it connects intellect, emotion, heart, brain, and spirituality. I feel honored and thankful for the presence of Beauty and your spirit through your art in my home!"
" It has been a long while since a piece has spoken to my soul. I kept going back to it at the fair. As you can see, it has a perfect home. "
"I love this piece, and surrounded it with x-rays of broken bones. I like the bones contributing to the sense of the brokenness of humanity, and the soft whimsicality of your painting makes me feel at peace and yet like I'm flowing towards something infinite."
'Leaving the Garden'