Home College: Brooklyn College
Faculty Mentor: Prof. Vito Acconci, Art, Brooklyn
Thomas W. Smith Academic Fellowship
Daniel E. Smith Scholarship
Savannah Knoop has been a lifelong artist. Early in her career, she chose what she felt was a “safe path”: making clothing. She taught herself patternmaking and production through books and internships, and opened a business with a friend. “I gave the company my blood and sweat and determination for eight years, sacrificing any sort of social life, stability or time for other creative interests. I lived in my studio cheaply without a kitchen or shower, with a bathroom down the hall. I had no health-care. I was broke, but devoted because I believed against all odds that my little company would make it. It didn’t.” In 2009, during the financial crisis, Knoop and her partnered closed the business.
At thirty, Knoop started thinking seriously about returning to school. She was torn between following her passion for art versus following a “pragmatic career-oriented goal”; in a “leap of faith,” she chose art. She applied to CUNY BA to design a degree in “Installation Art,” and describes returning to school as “rapturous.” Each semester she carefully pairs studio art courses with foundational theory courses that lead her to conceive, compose and fabricate interactive art. Her goal is to inspire viewers to reflect and debate salient issues. She has been studying the mediums of sculpture, writing, sound, and performance, as well as art history, philosophy and anthropology – and has been particularly inspired by courses such as Cultural Transformations at Brooklyn College and Writing and Practice, a graduate level course at Brooklyn College. She has also taken several courses at Hunter College. Her broader goal is to observe and illuminate social and cultural issues that resonate with many people, regardless of gender, class, race, or ethnicity.
This has been an extremely productive time for her. Among other projects, she has: written a story entitled School of Fish which deals with themes of identity, alienation and self-victimization and is based on an earlier series of performance pieces; collaborated with a friend on Amass, which uses sound and movement to explores concept in sexuality, spirituality, noise and repetition; and established a monthly event called Woahmone which provides a venue for audio-visual artists to showcase their work.