top of page

Remembering Michael Hopkins and a Message from Executive Director Nancy Gomez

Smiling black man in yellow shirt blue jeans and black cap sitting in front of collage of small paintings of musicians

From our executive director, Nancy Gomez:

I wish to announce with deep sadness the passing of our beloved friend and fellow artist, Michael Hopkins.

Michael was very ill, had surgery, and unfortunately was unable to recover. Michael was 65 and leaves behind his wife Lessie, and a family of sisters and a brother.

Michael was an artist at Project Onward since 2008 and will always be remembered for his gentle demeanor and winning smile. He loved and knew every musician in any genre. He loved music so much that he was compelled to create artwork with the likenesses of his musicians.

Michael was born in Chicago and said that he always had a knack for drawing, but it wasn’t until later in life that he took up art making in earnest. As a self-taught artist, Michael created breezy, colorful portraits of jazz, rock & roll, blues, and lately, hip hop artists. Michael’s small watercolor paintings, that were sometimes “bling’d” with glitter or rhinestones, were very popular with collectors. He was very proud of his collage of art in a permanent space at the Marriot McCormick Place hotel in Chicago. I personally will always remember Michael as an affable, patient, true gentle man with a quick wit. He was an integral member of our Project Onward community and he will be greatly missed.

Please join us in wishing his family our sincerest condolences and remember him in your prayers and thoughts. Michael’s funeral is on January 3rd at Conboy-Westchester Funeral Home 10501 W. Cermak, Westchester, IL 60154 708 562-5900.



Michael was a friend to all of us at Project Onward...

Group of people huddled in art studio
Michael (second from right, in red apron) smiling with a some of his studio family. He was kind to everyone in our studio, and was loved by all staff, volunteers, and his fellow artists.

He had a smile that could light up the whole studio...

And he was an incredible, one of a kind artist!

We will always remember you, Michael!

299 views0 comments


bottom of page