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Intersections fascinate me. Grafting, in the traditional sense, is a process used to join two distinct plants, often trees, to make them more productive. In Graft natural tree limbs are grafted to milled lumber, wooden tools, furniture, and human hair. These works—gangly, elegant, contrived, fragile, and at times self destructive—are reflections on our peculiar relationship with the natural world.​ ​ In one sense, as evolution has shown, humans and their productions are clearly as much a part of the natural world as any other life form. Our skyscrapers are as much a part of nature as the honeycomb of the bee​ and, in fact, replicate some analogous structural principles. ​Noted conceptual artist and systems thinker, Hans Haake famously said, “The difference between ‘nature’ and technology is only that the latter is man made.” Yet, there are reasons to believe we are somehow different from the rest of the natural world. We’ve invoked both science and religion to explain the apparent division. We position ourselves above nature by declaring that we are its stewards. We position ourselves below by elevating the rest of nature to a romantic ideal. We look for natural cures and natural foods. We seek Natural Light beer and Nature Valley granola bars. And, even if we erase the ideas that purportedly separate us from the natural world, the most powerful factor distinguishing us as a species remains: our disproportionate impact on the environment.

Jim Jacobs grew up in Pennsylvania and has worked as both a gardener and a carpenter. He received his MFA in painting from East Carolina University in 1982.

Untitled the Imperfections That Render Us Visible the Imperfections That Render Us Visible the Imperfections That Render Us Visible model#4 model#5 model#6 model#7 Crest Crest Snow College Gallery, 2017 Snow College Gallery, 2017 Thorns Mika's ponytail 2 Mika's ponytail 1 Mika Absalom Inversion Spiral Spiral Armed Armed Bubble Bubble Ouroboros Rootless Rootless (alt) Flagellate Stalk Delude Scribe Tap Cascade Cascade Cascade detail Dowsing Rod Slip Slip detail Slip detail Vigilance Vigilance detail Tung Tung detail Fountain Fountain detail Dowsing Rods 5&7 Dowsing Rods 5&7 Commander Ga Commander Ga Commander Ga Commander Ga Susurro Susurro detail Outcross thumbnail


The works in Interlace are influenced by the matapalo trees of Central and South America. These plants start as a simple vine. Eventually they encircle their host tree so thickly that the tree dies leaving a tightly woven mass of vines that take the form of the tree.