Instructor Spotlight- Candace’s Passions



Candace Hopkins, is not only an instructor here at Wheel House, but she is also a small business owner. Candace opened her first art studio and company in San Francisco back in 2013, which has been taking off.  She has not only been training and is team captain for the Wheel House AIDS Life Cycle


 What inspired you to start beyond canvas, where did you get your training, why San Francisco, why art?
Art has always been a big part of my life. I have been drawing and painting since I can remember.  I received a B.F.A. in painting and two-dimensional design from Georgia Southern University in 2010.   
In 2012 I moved to San Francisco to connect with an art-inspired community. Almost one year later, I started Beyond Canvas and began teaching painting classes out of a yoga studio. And since then we’ve moved to our own studio space on Valencia street.
What is Beyond Canvas, what types of programs do you offer, can you tell us about some past corporate painting gigs?
Beyond Canvas is a creative workshop space run by a group of trained and talented artists. We offer a taste of art history with easy-to-follow instruction on art fundamentals.  Our goal is to host a creative experience that’s both fun and educational.
We do host traditional paint and wine workshops, but we offer so much more than that.  Our workshops delve into realms ranging from street art to Japanese dyeing techniques, and everything in between.  We’re try to give people the opportunity to make something unique and artistically wholesome, which is harder to accomplish in a copycat painting. 
Two of our most unique corporate painting projects have been the ‘Paint Dome’ project, and a large-scale ‘Wine Painting’ project.
The Paint Dome project was a pop-up for an outdoor corporate event with around 200 guests.  We built an 10x8ft hinging canvas and enclosed it in a 25ft dome.  Participants were encouraged to wear a ‘paint suit onesie’ and goggles, and were then given paint balloons, and various types of water guns filled with paint.  The result was a unique piece of abstract art and a really fun one-of-a-kind experience.
The ‘Wine Painting’ project was hosted at Regale Winery in Las Gatos.  It started with a 3x4ft sheet of watercolor paper and a light sketch of the winery.  Participants filled in the sketch with various shades of red using Zinfandel, Shiraz, and Syrah wine, while enjoying wine tasting and live music.  After the event, I detailed and refined the painting, which was then given to the client as a memory of their unique creative experience.
Sign us up! How do we sign up for a class, or book you for a private event?
If someone wants to take a drop-in workshop, or book a private event, they can contact us at or find our calendar at
Why AIDS lifecycle, and what made you decided to captain a team! 
I LOVE cycling (and challenges)!  I have always wanted to tour to southern California by bike.  AIDS Lifecycle provides a a great opportunity to do this – only better because I get to raise funds for a great cause and ride with a wonderful community of people.  I’m very excited about it! I chose to be Captain because I want to motivate those who are not as experienced with outdoor rides, help our team raise an exponential amount of funds, and do everything I can to help the team reach its full potential. 
How has training been going?
 Training is going great so far! My classes are 45 minutes and incorporate high-intensity training to help build strength for rides.  Wheel House offers 60minute Endurance rides on the weekends that are great if you miss your outdoor training. 
What can one do to get involved
The registration for Northern California riders is currently closed, however there are still opportunities to be a ‘roadie’ and join for the entire week, or volunteer on the back end.  If you are already participating in AIDS Lifecycle, and without a team, you can also join ours 🙂
Do you have a link to a fundraiser page so that we can donate?
The team page for Wheel House can be found here, and donations can be made through individual participants. Any donations are greatly appreciated, and every little bit counts!
What made you start teaching fitness classes?
Growing up I was always an art nerd. I never really did any sports and didn’t discover my love of fitness until I graduated college. I then realized cycling and yoga provided mental clarity just as art does, plus there are ‘healthy side effects’.  I started teaching fitness because I wanted others to love cycling the way I do.
When can members find you teaching at Wheel House
Members join my classes at:
8:15am Monday for WH Rhythm
4:30pm Tuesday for WH Smart Rhythm
and 6:00am Wednesday TRX Circuit
What is your favorite part about teaching?
My favorite part about teaching is helping others relieve stress in their daily lives while getting stronger and healthier.   What a great combo! 🙂 
How has being an instructor inspired you in other ways?  Specifically in your art?
Being an instructor means you can’t slack off.  I won’t miss a class because there’s a happy hour going on, or show up late because I don’t feel like getting out of bed.  The workout itself provides mental clarity that leaves more room for creative ideas – It’s like a way to break an artist’s block.  Pushing yourself to the limit, and being able to offer others the same tools that help you is motivating and profound in itself.
How is  being an instructor helping prepare you for Aids life cycle.

Being an instructor at Wheel House means you stay in shape! There is a lot of core building moves that are incorporated into classes, along with practicing proper breathing techniques that are great for preparing to bike outdoors. Focusing on proper body alignment will really help you go far on rides – These are all things I really try to focus on in my personal classes, as well as including strength building formats involving high intensity intervals-all in time with the beat!

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