Q and A with Mrs. Kniveton


Chris Schwaderer

Thea Vrentas '20

What is your full name ( including middle name, maiden name, if any) ?

My full name is Claire Christine Kniveton. My maiden name is Niewendorp…pronounced New-in-dorp.

What pets do you own?

Sometimes I feel like our catahoula leopard dog, Piper, owns us. She’s kinda a boss dog.

Where were you born?

I was born in Hancock, Michigan. I’m a Yooper!

What is the last concert you saw?

Bon Iver– this summer, at the Kettlehouse Amphitheater in Missoula.

What book are you reading?

Florida by Lauren Groff

Buddha at Bedtime (for the baby)

The Mama Natural Week by Week Guide to Pregnancy and Childbirth

What did you eat for breakfast?

A blueberry smoothie and a slice of pumpkin ginger bread that my mother-in-law made.

Where is your favorite museum?

The MOMA—Museum of Modern Art- in NYC

Coffee or Tea?

Coffee, all the way until 10 am, then tea.

Red Grapes or Green Grapes?



Where did you go to school?

I attended high school at East Jordan High School, in East Jordan, Michigan.

I did my Undergraduate work at the University of Montana in Missoula.

I went to Graduate School at the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley, CO.

What is your favorite pair of shoes?

I love my Otz orange leather shoes.

Are you a night owl or an early bird?

Early bird gets the worm! 

If you had to watch a movie right now, which would it be?

Oooofta…if I could sit through a full movie without getting bored or falling asleep that would be an accomplishment. I do like Wes Anderson movies.

Do you usually remember your dreams?

Most of the time.

What did you think you would do when you grew up?

I always thought I would end up pursuing something related to Art

What is your motto?


Which Hogwarts House would you be sorted into?

Huh? I will need some help with that.

What is one of your strongest memories from the past?

International travel has always brought new perspectives and meaning to my life experiences. I feel lucky to have been to a lot of neat places.

What was your last job

I was the Art Teacher at Montana Academy for 8 years before coming to WHS.

Art Oriented Questions

Who is an artist that inspires you?

I feel inspired by Jeremy Collins’ landscapes. They are an incredible blend of beauty and rhythm.

What piece of art makes you feel the strongest feelings, what feelings are they?

Any painting by Frida Kahlo is a pretty powerful depiction of the pain she endured from her struggles with physical and mental health.

What is the prettiest color, where is this color?

Chartreuse green is my absolute FAVORITE color. It’s found in the lichen on trees and rocks all over the Western US.

What is the most fun thing to draw?

I enjoy drawing mountains, trees, plants, landscapes…

What is the most fun thing to paint?

Same as above. I enjoy the blending watercolor and pen.

What piece of your art are you happiest with?

Anything my students create that they are proud of and have worked hard on.

Who is the most underrated artist?

Native American Ledger Artists tend to be undervalued and underappreciated…oh, and Banksy, too 😉

Who is the most overrated artist?

Jackson Pollock’s work had a time and place, and I think we’ve outgrown that time and place.

What are your thoughts on the Mona Lisa?

From no matter what angle you view the painting, she is always looking you in the eyes!

The painting does not convey the same kind of emotions that we may typically look for in a portrait painting—this is what makes it pretty alluring.

What is the most pressing issue or dilemma when it comes to the politics involved in art, if any?

Political art is almost always controversial, regardless of which side you are viewing it from. Another issue that I see in art is how it is inaccessible to many due to high prices. For example, Banksy’s most recent shredding of a $1.4 Million painting caused quite a ruckus in the art world. But on the other side, art can be an incredible equalizer because everyone can create art!

Why do people create art?

To express themselves. To share what they believe in. To portray what they like or what they dislike. At its finest, art is a form of personal expression.

What is your least favorite thing about the art world?

It is unfortunate that not everyone has equal access and support to create and express themselves freely.