NEWPORT NEWS, Va. - The brand-new Eleanor and Hopps Art Gallery, showcasing local artists, opened its doors for the first time on Saturday.
"We've had this mission to solve some of the problems in the Hampton Roads involving the arts markets and developing artists,” Hampton Boyer, a local artist and founder of the gallery, told News 3.
Boyer had the idea for the gallery, first obtaining the building in June 2019 and spending more than a year renovating it. He also had help from artists who partnered with him from a local group called the Contemporary Arts Network.
"Over years of trial-and-error and pitches to different cities, we were able to acquire this space and create something spectacular," Boyer said.
Boyer has been an artist for 12 years and said he remembers when he got his start in the industry. Now, he wants to shine the spotlight on new artists and help them get their names in the art world.
"We see the amount of talent that's here,” Boyer said. “To be able to mine that talent and to develop it and to put it on a platform is what we're really engaging for the artists."
The gallery does not only focus on art, but also fashion. Near the main entrance, people can see clothing made by local artists and designers.
There is also a focus on entertainment - styles of art such as music. There is a stage in the gallery when people can perform various kinds of entertainment.
"We have 'Commonality,' which is our venue space,” Boyer said. "We have performances of spoken word, comedy, hip-hop, whatever, you name it."
Boyer described the gallery as a “community center with a focus.”
"It's a really beautiful space to really have an experience,” he said.
Visitors are required to wear a face covering inside. When visitors arrive, their temperature will be taken and their hands will be sprayed with hand sanitizer.
For more information on the gallery - such as admission, hours of operation, events, new displays and how new artists can inquire about promoting themselves and their work – check out the gallery’s website.