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Jim Proctor

Jim Proctor’s sculptures are constructed of gathered plant materials. In addition to the Buckthorn Menace series, he creates small sculptural work, measured in inches, crafted from acorns, thorns, plant hairs, stems, winged seeds, and roots which he gathers locally and regionally.

Born in Ohio, he studied art at St. Olaf College, graduating in 1992. While at St. Olaf, Jim began to experiment with incorporating plant materials into his landscape- and plant form-inspired paintings. Ultimately, paint and paper disappeared and he found himself simply recombining plant forms to create sculptural works. Simultaneously he began learning to identify native plants and birds, and saw for himself the threat posed by the spread of invasive plant species in the natural areas in and around Northfield and his current home, Minneapolis. Inspired in large part by his own buckthorn removal work in the natural areas of Northfield and Minneapolis, he was moved to create public artwork, adapting his methods to bring about a vision of the stark yet unnoticed changes in our natural surroundings, and to promote the cause of ecological restoration.

Jim has received the Blacklock Nature Sanctuary Fellowship, the Jerome Travel and Study Grant, the Minnesota State Arts Board Fellowship and the FORECAST Public Project Grant.

Jim serves as a board member of the Friends of the Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden and Bird Sanctuary in the Minneapolis City Park system, and has organized a volunteer program to remove invasive species there.

In 2000, The Star Tribune called him “the most original sculptor to appear in these parts in a long while. His tiny constructions, invisibly crafted, look entirely natural even though they are hybrids as strange as the famous fur-lined teacup by the surrealist sculptor Merit Oppenheim.” — Mary Abbe, Star Tribune.

You can view his work at

Grants and Awards

  • 2005 FORECAST Public Art Affairs Public Project Grant
  • 2002 Minnesota State Arts Board Artist Assistance Fellowship
  • 2001 Jerome Foundation Travel and Study Grant
  • 2000 Minnesota State Fair Merit Award-sculpture
  • 2000 Blacklock Nature Sanctuary Fellowship (funded by the Jerome Foundation)