Saturday, August 10, 2013

Bill & Ai Qiu Hopen's Mysterious Sutton West Virginia Studio

Once in while we get down to West Virginia, where one sometimes finds the strangest, most magical things. These shots were taken in a tiny place called Sutton. The old church seems abandoned but outside is a very romantic hanging bronze. Nearby is a store front with small maquette's displaying great skill. A worn flyer seems to indicate the artists.

 From, The West Virginia Encyclopedia

 (Bill)"Hopen studied painting at Lehman College, a branch of the City University of New York, and is largely self-taught as a sculptor. In the mid-1970s, he moved from Manhattan to Sutton. West Virginia hardwoods and stone were the materials that he first used for carving. Later in his career he devoted himself largely to sculpture cast in lead crystal, bronze, and other metals." Bill has had many commissions, throughout West Virginia, as well as New York, Wichita, Baton Rouge and elsewhere.

 His wife, has works all over China and keeps a studio near Shanghai. Amazingly, both artists have made life in West Virginia work for them. Hope they don't mind me sharing these shots from last year. Their aesthetic is similar enough that I can't be sure who did what. My guess is the dancing/floating violinist may be Ai Qiu's work.

Bill Hopen's Website

Ai Qiu Hopen's Website


Anonymous said...

Ha Ha Ha, I've neverheard of Sutton called "magical", but it has its charm. Ai Qiu found this blog about our "mysterious studio" we may be eccentric but there's nothing mysterious about a beautiful 3000 square ft building with 30 foot ceilings for $9,000 or a main st store front for 10,000(with apartment on top)....its a artist's dream loft just 500 miles from SoHo, NYC. We sell to a national, international market so it matters not where we live, an artist's life is in home and studio, both are had very cheaply here, there's a nice lake ,weve got clean air and water, mild climate, friendly people, low taxes, and I can't see raising our 5 kids in a hip downtown city. Theres a fair number of other urban refugees who have landed here too.

John Morris said...

I liked Sutton, but the magic/ strangeness was finding the work like that.