September artist of the month is N. Brian Hopkins, a real life astrophysicist. His works diverge from astrophotography and show his colorful take on the Melrose District. You may check out his website here.
You have a Master’s in Astrophysics. What led you down that path originally?
I’ve been interested in the stars since childhood, when someone gave me a small telescope. At the same time I was told by teachers to go into the arts as a child, that I was very creative. [I] got interested in electricity, then electronics, [got] a BA in Physics, then Masters in Astronomy from UMass. While there I had a key to the Amherst Planetarium where I put on free shows to the public and school kids. [I] knew that is what I wanted to do, and not go for a PhD.
Why did you follow your particular career path?
I didn’t like research, I like the big picture, the aesthetics of astronomy. I was adjunct faculty for two colleg
es teaching astronomy, and I was director of a planetarium for 15 years.
It says on your Website that you provided multi-media for planetariums and now you provide visual and sound experiences for clubs. How did your career morph from one to the other?
The planetariuim work got me into special effects, multi-media. I learned how to do soundtracks and put programs together. we got awards, great attendance. Recently, I got myself some equipment and I make VegasPro programs for small clubs.
Why the shift into shooting more street type photography? What made you choose the Melrose District?
I live in the Melrose district, like the concept of the vintage shops, like the small business’ uniqueness of the buildings, etc. And thought focusing on one area would have more impact.