Advertisement

Local artist honors Army Staff Sgt. Ryan Knauss with portrait

To honor Army Staff Sgt. Ryan Knauss, who was killed in Kabul, Afghanistan in August, a local artist painted a mural of him and gave it to his family.
Published: Oct. 20, 2021 at 5:47 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - To honor Army Staff Sgt. Ryan Knauss, who was killed in Kabul, Afghanistan in August, a local artist painted a mural of him and gave it to his family.

Heather Wolfe has been painting for her entire life and will sometimes take her supplies outdoors.

“I started doing pet portraits and I’ve been doing that for the last 10 years,” said Wolfe.

This later evolved into doing wedding portraits which Wolfe has done for three years.

A project she was recently asked to do came from the Knoxville Police Department to honor Knauss.

KPD officer Shelby Walker helped find Wolfe to do the painting.

“We wanted something that hit home. A lot of people when they have soldiers die in their family the country will represent but we wanted the hometown feel,” Walker said.

Wolfe graciously accepted the project and was able to finish it all in three days.

“This is one of the greatest experiences I’ve had as an artist,” Wolfe said.

She got so specific that all of the medals on Ryan’s jacket were precisely placed. After the portrait was finished, she went to deliver it to KPD.

“At this point, our flags were still half massed,” Wolfe said.

All of the emotions started to hit Wolfe on her way to the police station.

“I was like Ryan this is for you. This is in honor of you and I think that was the strongest emotion I felt through the whole thing,” said Wolfe.

KPD delivered the portrait to the Knauss family. Officers said the family was very grateful and called it beautiful and personal.

Copyright 2021 WVLT. All rights reserved.