January 12, 2022


You’ll find his work displayed across campus and the globe, portraying the distinctive features and traditions of Texas A&M University in vibrant oils, watercolors and acrylics. Benjamin Knox ’90 has spent the past 30 years building an art business from the ground up, focusing on the place where it all began: Aggieland.

With humble beginnings selling artwork door-to-door in the dorms to his fellow cadets, the entrepreneurial Knox used his natural talent for capturing scenery to eventually build the first art gallery in the Bryan-College Station area, where he now displays an extensive collection of artwork depicting Western heritage, landscapes and, most notably, Aggie icons.

To honor the community that supported him as his artistic talents grew, Knox has used his success to not only promote the Aggie Spirit but also perpetuate it through scholarships for the next generation of Aggies.

An Eye for Detail

A rural upbringing in Lubbock guided the artistically talented Knox toward Texas A&M and the Corps of Cadets, where he joined Squadron 3 in 1986. “The Corps was instrumental in shaping me as a person through discipline, integrity and camaraderie,” he said.

Creative since his youth, Knox decided to study environmental design and building construction in the College of Architecture. “The funny thing is, I went to Texas A&M to study architecture and do art on the side,” he said. “But instead, I started a successful art career and now do architecture for fun.”

Passion Projects

Following his gallery’s success and the presidential library commission, a more financially stable Knox had time to expand on his personal interests. Architecturally, he had plans for a personal project. The iconic “College Station” train depot for which the town was named had been destroyed when Wellborn Road expanded, and not even the sign was salvaged. As a passionate College Station historian, Knox wanted to reconstruct the lost icon on University Drive.

“I went to the city council with a packet I designed with a proposal for the reconstruction project,” Knox recalled. “On the front, it said, ‘One of the most important buildings to the history of Texas A&M and the city of College Station was destroyed in 1966. And I’m bringing it back.’”

After months of architectural design inspired by historical photographs and sketches, the Benjamin Knox Gallery was dedicated in November 2001, with Margaret Rudder, Texas A&M President Ray Bowen ’58 and Gov. Rick Perry in attendance. In the years since the gallery’s opening, Knox has become more involved with Texas A&M, teaching art classes for the Department of Visualization, creating commissioned paintings for campus spaces and photographing as many events as he can. “If you name it, I’ve been in the middle of it,” he laughed.


Serving as both a workspace and gallery, the Benjamin Knox Gallery often features recently completed commissions and prints of Knox's various works.

The Defenders of Freedom series Knox completed for the Don & Ellie Knauss Veteran Resource & Support Center in 2021 was particularly important for the artist. The paintings commemorate veterans from each branch of the military, all in Knox’s unique collage art style. Depicted in the paintings are notable Aggies who served in the respective branches, current Aggie veterans and staff, and namesakes, Don and Ellie Knauss. Knox said he hopes the pieces create an inspirational, supportive atmosphere and show veterans at Texas A&M that they are appreciated.

“Honoring people who protect our freedoms is one of the most important things that we can do as a society,” he said. “The commission was a fantastic project that I’ve wanted to do for a very long time.”

Painting for the Future

Having established a thriving art career, Knox set his sights on helping the next generation of bright Aggies. Remembering his own financial difficulties, he pledged to continue the same legacy that his donors left behind: one of compassion and selfless service.

“When you’re struggling financially and you don’t have a safety net, every scholarship or gift makes a difference,” Knox said passionately. “The first thing I did was create endowments to perpetuate the scholarships that I received. Through my donors’ generosity, I was able to achieve success and turn that around to help future generations.”

Additionally, Knox utilized his artistic talents to help create a $125,000 endowment for Texas A&M’s 125th anniversary in 2001. He donated the proceeds from 2,001 fine art prints and 125 artist proofs of his limited-edition “Texas A&M University 125th Anniversary Aggie Timeline,” which featured a large lithograph depicting the evolution of Texas A&M and a historical key describing its timeline.