Honoring members of the art community for their contributions to the world of Western art, Southwest Art ranked Hopkins, the only museum director to make the list, among sculptors, painters and gallery owners.
"Recognized for his leadership in bringing the culture of the West to the Southeast, Hopkins explains in an interview how the business of art has evolved over the years, and how Booth Museum helps preserve our Western heritage through paintings and sculpture," stated a Booth Museum press release. "Southwest Art is one of the leading magazines devoted to covering the world of American Western art. Later this year the magazine will celebrate its 40-year anniversary. The magazine prides itself on putting readers in touch with the artists, galleries, and collectors that shape the market."
Hopkins expressed his gratitude for being named but credits the recognition to museum staff, board members and volunteers. Hopkins earned a master's degree in museum studies from the University of Oklahoma and has served as executive director for the museum since its inception in 2000.
He describes his favorite aspect of the job as the interaction with museum guests and members. Seeing their excitement for the museum's collection and offerings inspires Hopkins to excel in procuring artwork and exhibits.
"That really motivates us on staff to continue to do a good job and offer great programs and exhibitions and lectures and those sort of things because we see their enthusiastic response," Hopkins said. "We are always driven by our exhibitions and so every three or four months we go through a new round of exhibitions. Right now, we have a great exhibit of national park art depicting 37 different national parks and in the fall we are opening a huge gallery of photography from the National Geographic Society."
As the Booth Museum's executive director and current President of the Museums West Consortium, Hopkins works with both artists and representatives from other Western art museums -- many of which are found in Western states. In speaking with associates from the West, Hopkins is often met with curiosity in a Smithsonian-affiliated Western art museum in the Southeast.
"People are initially a little bit surprised but the more they think about it, the more it makes sense. There are a lot of Georgia connections to the West as well," Hopkins said. "There are also quite a few collectors of Western art in this part of the country, so they really appreciate having the museum available as a resource."
The Booth Western Art Museum, 501 Museum Drive, is open Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Thursday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; and Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m. For more information, visit www.boothmuseum.org or call 770-387-1300.