Valerie Knobel

Assistant Professor of Practice in Art
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I believe the emerging talent and development of a student of art is directly related to the amount of practice and dedication the student is willing to expend. Just as athletes practice their craft on a daily basis, so should art students be willing to practice their visual craft. Although some of us are naturally attracted to creative sensitivities and the visual world around us, very few of us are "born" artists. To become a productive visual artist requires ongoing practice, patience and dedication. It is only in this manner that a student can develop a solid artistic foundation of skill and informed knowledge. Only then can a student finally begin and then continue to express themselves, their ideas, and their views within the visual arts. As an instructor at Doane University, I focus upon the individual learning process of each of my students. I believe that by careful attention and close mentoring, each potential and future artist who studies here at Doane will graduate with the skills and creative capacity needed to then form a meaningful and successful future in the visual arts.


My education consists of a BA in studio art (Doane University) and an MA in design (University of Nebraska-Lincoln). Before obtaining my MA, I worked in the mental health field. I have owned my own design business in textile and clothing design, worked as an artist/designer for a professional interior design firm, and I have experience working in the theatre arts. 

I have always been inspired by the natural world around me. Growing up on a farm, the rhythm and cycles of nature captured my attention. I consider nature as the metaphor for universal life experiences. Birth, growth, transformation and death all hold a special interest for me as I continue to develop, explore, and work on my own visual art.

Fields of Interest/Endeavor:

My past works are constructed with fiber and various manipulation techniques, including costumes. My latest works are large-scale pastel drawings. These works explore issues, such as birth and death, in the form of metaphors, including land and sky. These compositions concentrate more upon our personal and spiritual sensitivities. I use the vast sky above our common world as a means of inquiry, and I invite the viewer to think about what the sky above us represents (according to their belief systems). I want viewers to consider the spiritual and the material world, to wonder about and reconsider their personal and cultural views about a heaven and/or afterlife.

Interested in Doane? Let us know.