The Billings Outpost

Nik Carpenter

Nik Carpenter, 71, an artist whose work was widely exhibited, died July 19, 2013, of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.

He and his twin brother, Texas, were born in Roundup on April 1, 1942, to Wayne and Donna (Fiske) Carpenter of Ryegate. He grew up on a ranch along Careless Creek in the foothills of the Snowy Mountains and began drawing horses on sandstone bluffs with charred willow at age 7. He attended school in Franklin, Ryegate, Beehive and Dean and graduated from Absarokee High School.

He earned a bachelor of arts in education degree from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and a master’s degree from the University of Montana.

His art was shown and sold in the C.M. Russell Art Auction, American Canadian Art Classic, the World’s Fair Expo ’74, and many group and solo shows. His work was shown at Eddie Bauer, Wild Wings, Marshall Field, Quintana Gallery and Abercrombie and Fitch and in the homes of collectors throughout the world.

He donated artwork for fundraising events and helped the Special K Ranch, Chase Hawks Memorial Association, volunteer firefighters, ambulance services and hospitals.

He taught hundreds of kids and adults drawing, painting, and printmaking at the Young Artist’s Studio in Chicago and with classes or workshops in Ryegate, Billings, Bridger, Nye, Roberts and Red Lodge.

In the mid-’90s he invented his “Visions in Depth” series, creating images on multiple layers of anti-reflective glass. The golden eagle was featured in his series “Father Sky, Mother Earth and Man.”

Survivors include his companion and partner for 30 years, Erni Wegner of Belfry; a son, Jess; three grandchildren; and brothers, Tex of Ryegate, Ronald of Caldwell, Idaho, and David of Cheyenne, Wyo.

Cremation has taken place so that ground can be used for growing food to feed the living. Cremation & Funeral Gallery is in charge of arrangements.


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