happening peoplearchive

Jim Carpenter

"When I was five, I knew what I wanted to be," says artist Jim Carpenter. "I've been poking at it ever since." An Iowa native, he spent five years at the U of I, taking every art class he could sign up for. "I knew that I'd never have the opportunity again," he explains. "I got an education instead of a degree." Since he moved to Eugene in 1984, Carpenter has worked mostly at freelance illustration, including many covers for What's Happening/Eugene Weekly. Library patrons will also be familiar with his life-sized bronze sculpture of the city's founder, Eugene Skinner. After he met Grateful Dead publisher Alan Trist when both had kids at the Waldorf School, Carpenter illustrated Trist's 1989 book, Water of Life, a retelling of the folk tale that gave the Dead their name. Early this year, he was called on to illustrate The Complete Annotated Grateful Dead Lyrics, compiled by David Dodd and introduced to Eugene with a book-signing and concert last Friday. "We sold 200 copies," says Scott Landfield of Tsunami Books. Also a musician ("Eugene's best second-rate Irish fiddler") and an instrument builder, Carpenter shows off his home-made hurdy-gurdy in the photo.

happening people

photograph and story by Paul Neevel

Eugene Weekly / 20 October 2005

hp archive