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Sculptor Bill Hopen of Sutton was born April 13, 1951, in New York City. His works appear in government buildings, museums, churches, and hospitals across West Virginia, elsewhere in the country, and abroad.

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.

In 1982, Hopen completed his first public sculpture commission, a marble Mother’s Day memorial in Grafton. Hopen’s commissions include two works at the state capitol, a 10-foot-tall bronze statue of Sen. Robert C. Byrd and ‘‘Fallen Partner,’’ a statue honoring state law enforcement officers who died in the line of duty; a bronze of St. Francis of Assisi at Saint Francis Hospital in Charleston; ‘‘Immigrants,’’ a large exterior concrete installation at the Harrison County Courthouse in Clarksburg; bronzes of St. Joseph and Jesus at St. Joseph Hospital in Parkersburg; and ‘‘Mortality,’’ a bronze memorial to Hawks Nest Tunnel Disaster victims at Tamarack in Beckley.

Other public commissions appear in Baton Rouge, New York, Wichita, and elsewhere, and Hopen’s works are included in many private and corporate collections. Hopen married sculptor Ai Qiu Chen in 2001, and the couple maintains studio facilities near Shanghai as well as Sutton.

Last Revised on September 30, 2022

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e-WV: The West Virginia Encyclopedia "Bill Hopen." e-WV: The West Virginia Encyclopedia. 30 September 2022. Web. 20 April 2024.


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