Both native Texans, Debra Barrera and Jonathan Hopson illustrated on Tuesday their exploration with and commitment to human control and the power of choice. Their story, for us at least, begins with a mountain and a boat. No humans or human remains were found with the (abandoned but in good condition) boat, and the mountain was otherwise untouched by the residue of human control. This finding at this mountain inspired Debra to explore the notion of conquest and control.
They soon after started their first gallery, located in Hopson’s native Houston: Hello Gallery. As a team, the duo had complementary traits: She had the perspective of an artist, while he had a set of fresh eyes. From the start, they tried to showcase as much Houston art as they could. After some minor setbacks which included the closing of the Hello Gallery, the pair decided to start a new space. This one was deemed the Jonathan Hopson Gallery. The difference– it was also their home. One room was her studio, another the actual gallery space. Yes, they kept it commercial even though they lived there. No, they didn’t make it a nonprofit. These choices allowed them to keep control over what went into the gallery space.
Today, as a couple in the business side of the art world and also a prominent pair of voices on the Texas art scene, the two continue to complement each other and promise to support and promote the Houston art scene as much as they can.