Founded 1901

Royal Purple

Founded 1901

Royal Purple

Founded 1901

Royal Purple

Look beneath the surface at Roberta’s Art Gallery

By Abrielle Backhaus

Oct. 14, 2015

It may seem like talent is the key to being featured in permanent collections across the country, but artist Michael Hopkins said this is just the start to success.

Hopkins said while talent is useful, artists must have more.

“Having talent in and itself is worthless,” Hopkins said. “Talent and five bucks will get you a cup of coffee at Starbucks. You have to have talent but you also have to have the drive the tenacity behind that talent to project it into the world. “

Hopkins said he knows that being a starving artist can have its ups and downs. He said you may have to hold a couple of crumby jobs in order to plant a gig.

“You’re going to get a lot of talk from your friends or maybe your family or boyfriend/girlfriend whatever,” Hopkins said. “They’ll say you know being an artist you’re not going to make a lot of money. Like I said before you get one chance at life and if you’re going to try to play it safe, forget it.”

Hopkins’ work currently is displayed in t Roberta’s Art Gallery with the reception taking place from noon to 1:30 p.m. on Oct. 14. The exhibit is titled “X-Ray Series,” which is a collection of paintings, done on slate, influenced by X-rays and the structure of the human body.

Annie Kailhofer, Roberta’s Art Gallery assistant, said UW-Whitewater didn’t find Hopkins, he found UW-W.

“I think he just was looking for a gallery and stumbled across this one,” Kailhofer said. “But I know he reached out to us.”

Kailhofer had the duty of putting the final touches on bringing Hopkins to campus along with hanging the portraits around the gallery for the opening exhibition day.

She said she thinks all students can relate to the artwork.

“It really kind of shows you how we are as humans, we are just bones and organs put together,” Kailhofer said. “When I look at it, it’s more kind of humbling, ‘oh yah there’s science and anatomy beneath who I am.’ I’m so concerned about what I have to do next that I don’t even think about the skeleton inside of me. So it’s very humbling. I hope people take a moment and reflect back on taking care of themselves.”

Hopkins studied at a few locations to master his artwork.

In his endeavors he said he learned it’s not the institution of art, it’s those who teach art who are most important.

Hopkins even applied to multiple graduate schools, but was not accepted. He said looking back on his success, the graduate schools missed out.

To explain the feeling Hopkins has about being in various collections and exhibits he related it to baseball.

“I said dad, you know being in the permanent collection is equivalent to the baseball hall of fame. It’s as high as you can go,” Hopkins said. “There is no other level above that. There is nothing above that. When you are in museum collection you’ve hit the top.”

Hopkins said he has always loved art. For Hopkins it isn’t just waking up every day and knowing he pursued his career that makes him feel good, it’s how he used his talent to become successful.

Success for Hopkins is not defined by money, but by quality artwork.

“I think, well, I like to flatter myself that my work is of quality, of course, and I think being around quality music or what you would think is good music or architecture or good poetry or good writing being around those kinds of things will give you certain thoughts give you certain feelings put you in certain moods that you don’t get from the everyday experience.”

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Founded 1901
Look beneath the surface at Roberta’s Art Gallery