“I create art that causes people to think and starts difficult conversations.”
Connie McKnight started out teaching English at Dominion High School for four years and Tuscarora High School for several years after. It was then that she realized she wanted to leave a bigger footprint on her community.
She has always felt like she should be doing art, but was discouraged by others who warned that art would not be a lucrative career. Eventually, she disregarded the opposition and started painting as a hobby.
After hearing about three domestic violence murders in Loudoun County, she finally felt called to act. She started working with the Loudoun Abused Women Shelter (LAWS). She painted 23 paintings that depicted shocking images related to domestic violence to raise awareness; she also created a poem to go along with each painting. It was so successful that the Leesburg mayor requested her paintings to be displayed in Town Hall.
Since then, McKnight has been putting on painting parties for domestic violence and sexual abuse survivors to cope with their past through her new business, Soulful Innovations. She finds joy in helping others have “positive vibes only” and continues to encourage survivors to keep moving forward despite the trauma of their past.
View this week’s Loudoun100 episode here. View the whole video series at Loudoun100.com, where a new episode will be posted each Wednesday. Ahead of each release, Loudoun Now will highlight the upcoming episode in our print edition and at LoudounNow.com.