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Rich Klopfer

Raised in a West LA family of artists, Rich Klopfer grew up around museums and galleries. "On a typical family outing, my dad would set up the easel," he recalls. After high school, Klopfer explored the US by car, a bit at a time, until 1980, when he discovered Eugene and decided to stay. "I chopped wood and baked bread," he notes. "I made connections and saw the potential for community." A carpenter by trade, Klopfer launched a second career as an exhibiting artist and began a collaboration with Eugene artist and labor-rights activist Trim Bissell. "We were kindred spirits in art," says Klopfer. "We did a series of paired paintings." Also a folk musician, Klopfer picks up the violin for relaxation on a daily basis. Behind him on the wall is one of his colorful depictions of rural life. After Bissell's death from cancer in 2002, and with the invasion of Iraq imminent, Klopfer put his art career on hold, cut back on carpentry, and joined the Justice Not War Coalition. "I've been at it since January of '03," he says. "We organized some of the rallies. I was arrested a couple of weeks ago in Peter Defazio's office."

happening people

photograph and story by Paul Neevel

Eugene Weekly / 29 March 2007

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