Dr. Orin Carpenter
“Can I Be Served”
Medium: Mixed Media
Petaluma, CA  USA

Artist Spotlight: Dr. Orin Carpenter

We are thrilled to shine our Artist Spotlight on Dr. Orin Carpenter, a distinguished mixed media artist whose work serves as a bridge to connect people and inspire dialogue. Through his art, Dr. Carpenter explores the multi-layered complexities of human experience, highlighting our commonalities regardless of gender, race, economic status, or culture. His creations not only captivate the eye but also provoke thought and conversation, making them powerful tools for social change.

Featured Artwork: “Can I Be Served”

One of our favorite submissions, “Can I Be Served,” will be featured in our upcoming Coffee Table Art Book. This mixed media piece, measuring 16 x 20 inches, harkens back to the 1960 Woolworth sit-ins. It poignantly reminds us of a time when not everyone could walk into a cafe, diner, or coffee shop and enjoy a simple cup of coffee. Today, as we relish this freedom, we honor the bravery of those who fought for equality. This piece serves as a vivid reminder of the progress we have made and the importance of continuing the fight for justice.

Dr. Carpenter’s portfolio is rich with social justice themes that address various aspects of human rights and equality. His piece “Children of Auschwitz” is a haunting reminder of the atrocities faced by certain groups of people while others enjoyed everyday pleasures. This work encourages viewers to reflect on historical injustices and their relevance today, urging a commitment to preventing such horrors from recurring.

Beyond the coffee-themed works submitted to our project, another standout work is “Talk to the Hand,” which features a boy with his hand outstretched, displaying the word “HATE” written on it, while his T-shirt boldly states “ERACISM.” This powerful piece encapsulates the artist’s message of confronting and eradicating hatred through dialogue and understanding. It is a testament to Dr. Carpenter’s ability to blend visual storytelling with profound social commentary, challenging viewers to reflect on their own beliefs and actions.

Dr. Orin Carpenter’s work is deeply rooted in his experiences as an artist of color. He states, “As an artist of color (AOC), I have the power to bring others into the world I experience through the lens of my creations. I have the power to educate, elevate, and challenge anyone who encounters my works of art. My art invites everyone to see the world through my eyes and hopefully change their perception with a new vision and offer them the opportunity to share in the journey… my journey.”

Dr. Carpenter’s dedication to social justice is evident throughout his work, which often explores themes of racial equality, historical memory, and the human capacity for both cruelty and compassion. His art serves as a call to action, inspiring viewers to engage in meaningful conversations and take steps toward a more just and equitable world.

Dr. Carpenter’s work will also be part of a group exhibit at the Petaluma Art Center on August 24th in Petaluma, CA. We hope you enjoy this special feature on Dr. Orin Carpenter and find inspiration in his powerful works. See more of of Dr. Carpenter’s work on his website, Orin Carpenter’s Studio and instagram links below:

Go-to coffee order: I love tasting different roasts from different countries. Even in those orders, a medium to dark roast are what I toggle back and forth from.

Favorite coffee spot: Atlas Coffee Club online. I like Atlas as a way I can travel and taste different flavors from different countries without having to wait to travel there.