Knedler focuses primarily on mixed media printmaking. He enjoys the complex and technical processes involved in making plate surfaces from wood, metal and found objects and the magic involved in printing these surfaces layer upon layer. He works heavily in reacting to textures and images by free association in the spirit of controlled experimentation. Often this involves starting and restarting prints by combining failed prints with new prints to equal a successful product. Cutting up successful images to pair them with unsuccessful prints is often an option. His fascination with combining different print processes provides a constant evolution of visual imagery that never seems to lose his interest. Conceptually, he is interested in examining the social, satirical or educational aspects that shape us as individuals. We are psychologically complex people, each with individual opinions and feelings. He enjoys getting to know about how situations drive us to become who we are.
Knedler also focuses much of his research on conference presentations about art in higher education and his work with the Oscar Howe Summer Art Institute (OHSAI). He has presented his research at many conferences, including the National Conference on Race and Ethnicity, Hawaii International Conference on Education and Native American Art Studies Association. He has worked with the OHSAI since 1995 and became the Director in 2009. The institute provides a two-week workshop for high school students interested in learning more about Native American arts and traditions. Since 2014, he has received privately funded grants of $50,000 annually to host the institute at the University of South Dakota.
Administration is leadership and management, both of which require learned skills to successfully meet shared goals and a conceptual understanding of how to inspire others to help. Managing a unit means that the leader is responsible for outlining the vision and ultimately the outcome. Leadership effectiveness has to do with the ability of the leader to create positive relationships among colleagues as reaching goals in a unit of higher education cannot be accomplished autonomously; colleagues must work together toward the goals while making individual contributions.
Knedler has developed a type of relational leadership that involves being as attuned with others as possible. He strives to develop administrative relationships across the campus and in the community. This requires being aware of many personal qualities needed for people to first and foremost trust the administration. Trust cannot be demanded, it must be earned; it is earned through elements such as commitment, honest communication, and credibility. As a unit administrator, he believes that his job is to project a perception of the institution’s values and achievements in order to help others buy into our common vision. This is achieved through aspiring to perform at a high level of excellence at all times.
Ultimately, his time as an administrator in higher education has come down to effective relationships with the community and a true leader must serve and produce results for that community. One must balance the strategic goals of the upper management in order to discern where the unit fits into the overall plan, while balancing the needs of the unit to help produce a productive and effective working environment for all. So that the institution can flourish, there will always be a need for a unit leader to manage, inspire, and discern obstacles as they follow the paths to success.
Knedler is an idealist and believes that learning is inherently good in itself. Successful education begins with a sincere desire to learn and depends upon openness to new information and different perspectives. He views education as a life-long process that requires the on-going development of a wide range of learning skills. As a teacher, the above beliefs translate into specific principles and practices. First of all, he expects students to take personal responsibility for learning--so participation counts. He also makes a special effort to ensure that his courses contribute to the students' ability to research, analyze, critique, and communicate--this means production of work outside of class time. His syllabi set clear and realistic course objectives attainable by any serious student, and he strives to teach classes in a manner which will educate, motivate and inspire students to continue learning following the class end date.