We don't see things as they are, we see them as we are." ~Anaïs Nin.  


                                                                                                                            Deborah E. Knispel



As an artist, I look at things from various perspectives, trying to imagine how others might or might not see.  Giving others a fresh look on something familiar provides wonderment and surprise. I try to do that with my art. I want the viewer to look deeper and create their own definition of what they see.



My views on life and artisitic vision developed during my teens and early adulthood in New York City during the late

70's and 80's. It was an exciting period and the emergence of Punk led the way to a community filled with unique artists that pushed boundaries.  I learned to appreciate individualism, diversity and the importance of being true to your art.



Obtaining a dual degree in Art History and Sociology helped me understand that everyone's truth is personal and has a place within the context of the greater picture.  I want my art to be universal in understanding, so that there is an open appreciation and connection.

Art photography, encaustic works and mixed media are the mediums of my choice. Because I also teach art, I dabble in and enjoy experiencing all mediums with my students on a daily basis.


Day Job


Art Teacher - Pace Brantley School - Private school for students with exceptionalities


"By teaching students how to think creatively and understand the viewpoints of other creative thinkers, it helps them see the world through a new lens."                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 - Deborah Knispel 


Pace’s art program is designed to help students develop a lifelong appreciation of the arts and to see things more creatively.  At all grade levels, students use decision-making skills to define their own personal artistic perspective.  They learn appropriate art vocabulary, while developing a foundation in the elements of art and principles of design.


Students work with both two and three-dimensional arts and use a variety of mediums including: clay, paper mache, printmaking, charcoal/pastel drawing, collage and different methods of painting. Students are introduced to significant artists that tie-in with the art medium they are learning so they can develop an appreciation of art history.


Classroom critiques are a regular part of the art class to encourage analysis and self-evaluation.  Additionally, at the end of each semester, student artwork is displayed during an Art Reception, giving students pride and ownership in their work. The ultimate goal is to ensure student success, not only in art, but in life.  


Previous Positions


Teaching Artist with Arts4All (Previously known as VSAFL)


Press Release:  VSAFL invited the Orlando Museum of Art to be a part of its expanding cultural access and artist-in-residency program.  Through this collaborative effort, students from Cheryl West’s ESE classroom at Lee Middle School participated in an 8-week artist-inresidency with Deborah Knispel, a VSAFL teaching artist.  The students visited the museum during a School Learning Trip and were inspired by Rembrandt, Rubens, Gainsborough and the Golden Age of Painting in Europe from the Speed Art Museum, Louisville, Kentucky. Upon returning to the classroom and under the Ms. Knispel’s direction and training, students created parallel pieces of artwork to what they viewed at the museum. The program culminated with a special field trip to the museum to see their art work on display and to enjoy a reception in their honor.


Visual Arts Integration Specialist - UCP of Central Florida 2012 - 2018


During my time with UCP, I visited 7 different campuses across Orange, Osceola and Seminole County teaching arts integration lessons to students with varying exceptionalities.  The  goal was to reach students that might not grasp learning material through conventional methods by using the arts as a tool.  


A primary example is teaching properties of matter during Science class by using clay to demonstrate solid matter. Making slip demonstrates liquid matter and using a kiln to fire the clay demonstrates gas matter.   The entire clay workshop is a visual and tangible demonstration of what students need to learn regarding properties of matter for their Science standards.


Project based learning through art increases understanding, retention, and gives students an appreciation of the arts.


Exhibitions & Awards                                                   

2003    “A Day in the Life - Brooklyn” Group Photographic Exhibit, Brooklyn, NY

2007    “Caged” - National Arts Program Juried Exhibit, Orlando, FL - 1st place/Best of Show

2007    “Caged”– Group Exhibit, Orlando Civic Center, Orlando, FL

2007    Caged”– Group Exhibit, Orlando Airport, Orlando, FL

2007    “Endless Cycle” – Group Exhibit, City Arts Factory, Orlando, FL

2008    “Shot Thru the Heart” 10 foot fiberglass guitar - Gibson Guitartown public works display and charityauction, Orlando, FL –Sold $625

2008    “And Judgement For All” - NAP Juried Exhibit, Orlando, FL  – 3rd place

2009    “Cocky”,“Flamboyant” - NAP Juried Exhibit, Orlando, FL – 1st place

2010    “The Carpenter”“Fashion Figure” -NAP Juried Exhibit, Orlando,  FL – Best of show

2010    Publication: Florida Oasis: a photographic tour of Harry P. Leu Gardens,” Cool Springs Press, 2010 -

               8 Photos, including centerfold and cover flap

2011    “Lilies” – Maitland Art and History Center “Orange & White” Group Exhibit, Orlando,  FL – 1st place

2011    “Fragile” and “Smoked” - NAP Group Exhibit, Orlando, FL

2012    “L’Objet de Mon Desir”– Fall in Furniture Love – Scan Design Art Benefit, Orlando, FL

2013    "Into the Woods" - Solo Exhibit at CityArts Factory, Orlando, FL - funded in part by a grant through United Arts of Central Florida.

2014    "The Creative City Project" - tableau vivant of Francisco Goya's, The Spell

2015    "The Creative City Project" - tableau vivant of Gustav Klimt's, The Kiss

2016    "Ascendance" - Watercolor painting for Paint Strong Orlando Exhibit

2019    "Ascendance" - Watercolor painting exhbited at Love Speaks Exhibit at Orange County History Center

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