Mary Hopson Turns Tragedy & Heartbreak Into Artistic & Musical Success
Local artist and musician Mary Hopson has entered ART PRIZE for another year and has been accepted.
Her work entitled, “I’m Lost Dementia”, is the story in paint of her work as a caregiver of an Alzheimer patient.
Mary cares for her four hours a day and takes her on as many adventures as she can.
“I hope to raise some awareness for dementia with my painting,” Mary says.
Last year, Mary was accepted in ART PRIZE with her work, “Meltdown” after being rejected the year before.
“Rather than give up, I keep on trying and improving enough to be accepted in the competition,” Mary explains.
“My painting will be on exhibit at Cornerstone Church, Heritage Hill, 48 Lafayette Ave. SE, Grand Rapids, from September 19 through October 7. My voting number is 67187.”
Reminiscing on how she became an artist, Mary tells about when she started painting.
“I’ve always wanted to be an artist,” she says. “When I was a child I drew and sketched. After my daughters died, I spent long winter nights in depression. Painting filled the need to have something to elevate myself to and I poured myself out on canvas. I had no formal training. Out of need and desperation to create I discovered this talent I never knew I had!”
“In 2000, my two daughters, Brooke and Amber, 12 and 14, were riding home from school with a fellow student. He ran a stop sign and three children were lost in that accident,” says Mary.
“Although it was a terrible and horrific accident it has directed me to lead my life knowing what’s truly important.
“I began singing with my brother Gervaseus‘s band, XIT 18. It led me out of deep despair and heartache and gave me a reason to live again. Songs just started coming, one after another. I’ve been singing now for 10 years with his five-member band. He has written 35 original songs. We are a modern rock band and we tour and do festivals and clubs.”
Mary plays cello, guitar and keyboards in the band as well as being a singer.
“I took music in school and learned cello and was in the choir. I learned guitar on my own. I wrote a song for my daughters called, “Why.”
Mary grew up in South Haven and graduated South Haven High School. She attended South Western University for photography and graduated from Tulip City Beauty School. She is also a hair stylist.
“I have many childhood friends from South Haven that support me as an artist,” Mary notes.
She has one living daughter, Sanda Leah, and four grandchildren: three girls and one boy.
“Besides enjoying every minute with the kids I love to hula hoop. We use them on stage and interact with the audience with the hoops. I love to ride my bike on the trails in Allegan Woods.”
Mary is a very busy woman. “I wear many hats,” she adds. “I got to do some acting in 2016. I appeared in a film called, “Alaska is a Drag” with Jason Scott Lee, Margaret Cho, Matt Dallas and several other actors. The film will possibly be shown in South Haven in October.
Mary sums up her philosophy of life: “I live one day at a time.”