Jim Proctor's botanical fictions are exquisitely rendered miniature fabrications of plant and animal that captivate and terrify. Patrick Kruse and his teenage son Gage craft exquisite tableaux of abstract storytelling. In combination, the work of these artists uniquely challenges our romantic notions of nature. They all use, as their medium, the materials of the natural world. But the products of their imaginations remove us from the comfort zone of familiarity. Tennyson's famous lines, "Tho' Nature, red in tooth and claw/With ravine, shriek'd against his creed," aptly caption Proctor's work. Intricately fashioned from acorns, winged seeds, plant fibers, thorns, and stems, his tiny biomorphic sculptures bear only fleeting resemblance to their origins as—look closely—they seemingly sprout hair, teeth, or wings: His flora have become otherworldly fauna. The Kruses use tiny pieces of birch bark, red willow, and deer sinew to convey narratives of the artistic imagination. Acorns and tree bark will never look the same again. The opening reception is from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday, December 3.
Dec. 3-Jan. 18, 2010