Joanna Knepper, a senior at Exeter Township High School, and once a student in GoggleWorks’ Summer Student Ambassador Fellowship, has won a Gold Medal in the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards Alliance for Young Writers and Artists. Her triumphant achievement has opened a window for her to exhibit the unique art piece “She’s Lost Her Marbles,” at Carnegie Hall in New York City this June.


Joanna entered a rather distinctive piece that she created during the summer fellowship program with Maggie Gallen, GoggleWorks’ Warm Glass Studio Manager. With the encouragement of her art teacher, Christina Pinkerton, Joanna applied for the 8-week fellowship at GoggleWorks Center for the Arts during her junior year of high school. While working closely with Gallen, Joanna was able to explore another side of art and transform her experience in working with warm glass.


We spoke to Gallen to gain more insight on her experience working with Joanna.“She had great attention to detail and she was able to take direction, but she also had her own ideas. It was nice to be able to share techniques and processes with her and be able to watch her run with it in her own direction.”


Was there ever a point in the fellowship where Joanna was doubtful or hesitant to create artwork? 

“We did this large cast image of the sidewalk with a footprint in it. We had to slap this large slab of clay onto the sidewalk and she just started laughing, she was just like “This is artwork. This is making art? We’re just throwing clay on the sidewalk.” She was out of her comfort zone and she was looking at art through a different lens. I wouldn’t say doubtful, or sort of skepticism; she allowed herself to get uncomfortable and do things that didn’t necessarily make sense. As artists we need to be able to leave our comfort zones to be able to challenge ourselves.”


What do you have to say about Joanna’s recent success in having her work shown at Carnegie Hall?

“I think it’s amazing. To be able to see work that has come out of this studio be shown at Carnegie Hall, it blows my mind. Everybody’s success in the studio mirrors the success of the studio and of GoggleWorks in general. She put the work in and she definitely deserves it.”


This award is such an honor for a student to win and a great boost of confidence to help keep them on their artistic path. Joanna Knepper is the only Berks resident to win this prestigious award, and we could not be more excited for this amazing accomplishment she has achieved. We are honored to have been a stepping stone to what may very well be a long and prosperous career for her in the world of art.