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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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A Portrait of Aggieland

Knox
Photo by Photo by Sidney Johnson
Knox

Artist, architect, entrepreneur, extreme skier, father and Texas A&M Class of 1990, Benjamin Knox has a hefty list of titles behind his well-known name.
Recently, however, Knox has added one more title to his name: Texas A&M Department of Visualization assistant professor of practice.
Knox is most known for the Benjamin Knox Gallery in College Station, where he sells Aggie or Texas-themed artwork and runs a successful framing business. The gallery is housed in the renovated historic College Station train depot, which Knox designed himself.  
Many of Knox’s pieces can be seen around campus, but one series he has been working on won’t be completed until next year. The “Aggieland Football Collection,” consists of 12 paintings of Kyle Field, with each depicting a different season of Aggie football. The project started in 2004 and will conclude in 2016.
Knox said he is currently working on the 2015 painting, a piece showing the new Kyle Field, to be added to that collection. Knox said he has painted Texas A&M for more than two decades and has enjoyed documenting Aggieland’s changes.
“I’ve been cataloging the history and culture of Texas A&M since 1988,” Knox said.
The Lubbock-native said he grew up on a horse ranch and always had an interest in art for as long as he can remember. Knox said his earliest memories of art stem back to decorating plates when he was 4 years old and his career took off from there.
“I was inspired by drawing comic books in elementary school,” Knox said. “By junior high, I was doing magazines and selling them at school.”
Knox said he has been a businessman and entrepreneur nearly as long as he has been an artist.  
“My first sale was a spiderman comic book to my first grade teacher, Mrs. Day,” Knox said.
Knox fostered his passions for art and business further when he came to Texas A&M to study environmental design. Knox said he didn’t know much about A&M, but came to College Station after being offered multiple scholarships to be a cadet in the Corps.  

“I didn’t know much about A&M when I first got here, but I knew I wanted to get out of Lubbock,” Knox said, laughing. 

By his sophomore year in 1988, he had already started an art business from the confines of his dorm in Lacey Hall. 

“We had an empty room on our floor,” Knox said. “So I convinced the Commandant into letting me making it the outfit drafting room.”

Richard Davison, the undergraduate coordinator for the Department of Visualization and visualization professor, said the art business can be difficult.

“You really have to be extremely resourceful to be an artist and make a living, let alone a good living from your artwork, which is exactly what Benjamin has done,” Davison said. 

Davison said he used to be one of Knox’s professors when Knox attended A&M. The course Knox is now instructing is actually the one Davison taught him during the 1980s. Davison said Knox was a memorable “bright spot” in his class. 

“He may be the only student in my memory who I would give a project to and he would draw it, and then he would draw it again from a different angle or something just for the fun of it,” Davison said.   

Carolyn Stocki, visualization freshman, is a student of Davison. Stocki said even though Knox has his own class to teach, he will come and sit in on her class and sometimes teach it.

Stocki said she grew up knowing the name Benjamin Knox since her parents are fans of his work. Stocki said being taught by an artist who is so well known is extremely inspiring.   

“He has got this fascination with art,” Stocki said. “You can tell that he cares a lot about the students and that he wants to help us grow into better artist.”

Knox said he has been able to use his chance as an instructor to learn from his peers as well as to learn from his students.

“It’s a full circle thing,” Knox said. “It’s a cool feeling. Hopefully it will inspire the students because I feel like I have a tremendous amount to bring from all my experience.”

Knox will unveil his new Kyle Field painting Nov. 7 in the MSC.

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