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Jesse McKnight

Jesse (Jay, as he was fondly known) was a chemical engineer by degree and also served in the U.S. Army in World War II.  He was emloyed for 40 years as a chemical engineer with Quaker Chemical Corporation.  Jesse started painting in 1960 at a high school adult night class.  However, demands by his profession afforded him little spare time to paint.  After he retired in 1986, Jay and Clara, his wife of 59-1/2 years, started spending 8 months a year in Matlacha, where he joined the Pine Island Art Association in 1990, and started doing watercolors.  In the 16 years that he entered shows in the Art Council of Southwest Florida, he  won 72 awards, 13 of which were First Place awards, and 11 of which were Best of Show!  His most prestigious awards were Best of Show in the Art Council of Southwest Florida’s Winners’ Circle and Second Place (twice) in the International Show by the Miniature Art Society of Florida.  Two of Jay’s miniatures were shown in July of 2004, at the Smithsonian, Washington, D.C.

In October of 2000 Jay and Clara became permanent residents of Florida.  Jesse was a very active member of the Pine Island Art Association, the Charlotte County Art Guild, the Miniature Art Society of Florida, and the Cape Coral Art League. Jesse is now deceased, but his presence is still felt in the hearts of those who knew him and, we all still admire his wonderful art.