Hopson and Barrera Follow Their Dream

Jonathan Hopson and Debra Barrera’s lecture was the most inspiring guest lecture I have attended in my four to five years at Texas State. Debra Barrera’s work was simple and varied as she did not stick with just one medium and chose to expand and experiment with different concepts and mediums. However, it wasn’t her art or his space that inspired me (though they were definite influences) but it was their drive to create a space, and follow and stick to what they love that was inspiring. As I am looking to start my own gallery space in the future, I always thought it had to be a professional gallery space to be acceptable for artists and shows. I had this preconceived notion that I HAD to know what I was doing for it to be successful. Jonathan Hopson stated that he had no idea what he was doing but it was going to shows, feeling confident with what you want to do and always keeping communication open is where he found success. Seeing their home being a form existing of her studio, and their gallery space opened my eyes to this other realm of gallery spaces. Their home is a welcoming, warm space that though may not be the right space for certain works, it is a welcoming experience for the visitor. This warm, welcoming feeling is important to what I am trying to achieve in my own gallery, and wanting to make art and going to see art an enjoyable activity for the whole family as well as for those who may not have the art background that most seem appropriate for going to see art. Hearing their lecture made me believe that it is possible for art to go from a bourgeoisie event to a community event which all feel welcomed in the space and comfortable expressing their own stance on a piece. I am re-inspired to begin my own steps to creating a space I am happy with putting my name on.

  • Krista Kelly


  1. I agree with Krista in finding Hopson and Barrara’s bungalow inspirational. They house a plethora of interesting artworks, all very colorful against a neutral colored wall to help them pop. I like that they work together as a team to create unique things, some made out of everyday material. It amazes me that they are both able to work full time in the art field on top of having time for their gallery work! Having said that, it must feel pretty incredible to be able to work at something they love, only to then be able to come home and put their own creativity to work in the gallery.



  2. It makes me very happy to know that you enjoyed this lecture, because I did as well. I wasn’t aware that you want to open up your own gallery space eventually, I think that’s great! And what a perfect lecture to experience. Their story is extremely unique and inspiring because they made entering the art world, with little or no idea what to do, sound okay. It gave me intense comfort to know that they kind of just went with their gut impulses on a lot of ideas and plans, and ended up being the happiest they could be. It has been stressed to us art students by our mentors and professors, or at least I have noticed, that we put high emphasis and importance on networking. Hopson and Barrera and their stories are proof of the benefits and positivity that result in creating meaningful relationships and communications. I also enjoyed that they were very personable, because sometimes people that become relatively successful or known, act superior and entitled. I really found it to be incredibly fascinating that their home doubles as an art gallery. I have heard of that idea and always thought it was really special. I have noted on this before in previous posts, but I think it’s very important to make sure that a space whether it’s a gallery or museum is welcoming and comfortable. It makes for an entirely more positive experience for visitors and art appreciators. I am very glad to know that Hopson and Barrera have accomplished this and will be bringing this experience to many people.

    Rachael Pantuso


  3. The luxury that our and Sterling’s class had last Tuesday evening of being visited by the dynamic couple Hopson and Barrera was also for me the most impactful and profound guest lecture during my time at Texas State! The very direct experience-based advice that Hopson endowed us with is what I treasure the most. He explicitly told us to “make what you want to see in the world,’’ to be ourselves and to network with artists/ other galleries, which is invaluable information for me (also interested in opening a gallery space.


  4. I was raised in a very warm and welcoming home so I love how Hopson and Berrera created a gallery within their home for people who love art to be able to experience it. I’m with you on not realizing that that type of gallery was actually an acceptable way to showcase art, but I’m so glad it is an alternative from a typical gallery space. I’ve always wanted my home to be filled with art anyway, so the idea of your home and gallery all being one is really cool. I don’t think that I will necessarily pursue that for my life, but if you ever do open a gallery like theirs or any other gallery I would love to stop by and experience it.


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