Bryan Hopkins' Pottery
  • Area of Study: Liberal Studies, Art Minor
  • Current City: Buffalo
  • Graduation Date: 1990
  • Current Occupation: Part-time Professor, Niagara County Community College, Sanborn, NY; Self-Employed, Hopkins Pottery

Why did you choose WCU and/or the Department of Art + Design?
I went to WCU for mathematics- it had a good reputation and was far enough from where I grew up to keep my parents from just stopping by. I had to take an art course to graduate so I registered for a Ceramics class with John Baker, and it changed my life.

What training or education did the Department of Art + Design provide for you that relates to your current occupation?
The art faculty helped me to become a creative problem solver through some thoughtful projects. The faculty also served as role-models, being artists active in their fields. In my teaching life I find myself thinking back to how I was taught, and trying to emulate some of those practices. Each professor I had at WCU had a good work ethic, and that really helps all aspects of my life as an artist.

What is a typical day like for you?
Up at 6:30am, pack my and my 11 year olds' lunch and get him on the bus. To the studio by 7:45am. On teaching days I leave the studio by 1pm to teach 2-5pm, and 6-9pm. On non-teaching days I am in the studio until 3 or 4pm, then out on my bike for 2-3 hours. In bed by 10:30pm. I do not go to the studio on weekends.

What advice would you give to someone who would like to enter your field?
Develop a good work ethic for your studio practice. Find a good place to live and surround yourself with a variety of interesting people. Take care of yourself physically (exercise) and be a whole person.

What is your favorite memory of being a student at WCU and/or in the Department of Art + Design?
Art openings were my favorite times in the art dept. Having access to a visiting artist, and being able to ask questions of that person while in the presence of their art work, was both educational, fun, and humbling.


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