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About The Artist

James Donald Gabbert

born: 1952, Minneapolis, Minnesota

Current residence: Eden Prairie, Minnesota

My Approach to Art

I create my art to lift and enlighten the spirit, to touch the heart, to awaken the intellect. I believe that art should be beautiful. It's proportion, balance, and aesthetics should draw the heart and spirit into it and leave with something more.

Too much of today's art is designed to shock and too often the vehicle used is ugliness, and dissidence. Too much of today's art lacks a soul and spirit. Art can be and should be more. My intention is for my art to be more than beautiful. I want my art to be a unique in contribution to our collective understanding of humankind. I intend for my art to be provocative, that is, to provoke the mind, heart or spirit to experience something new or rekindle something forgotten. If you enjoyed your visit, leave a message and help bring the site into wider circulation on your Facebook, twitter,...

My Long-Term Focus

Most of my works are intended to be large scale as they are often an expression of the interaction of form and space. This requires them to be of sufficient scale and in an environment that provides space, such as a corporate park, a city park, or large interior space such as a lobby. However, I also do smaller works appropriate for personal collections.

Currently, my works focus on three different categories of sculpture:

  • The human figure with inspiration from Auguste Rodin, as well as contemporary artists, such as Paul Granlund and Glenna Goodacre.

  • Non-objective works, which are not representational, containing no recognizable figures or objects.

  • Fountains (for lack of a better word) combining the interaction of the human figure with water, non-objective forms with water, or the combination of all three. I believe it is here that I have the greatest opportunity to contribute a unique vision to humanity. Regrettably, there is a lack of interest for water-centric artwork. 

I am seeking commissions.

A Little Of My History

I am a sculptor. I was born to be a sculptor.

I've always had an artistic bent. My mother said I was always building something out of Tinker Toys or cardboard and scotch tape. Throughout school art classes were easy "A"s for me. However, it was not until college that I realized I had a gift. Early in my junior year one of my professors was frustrated by my lack of progress during a series of live model drawing sessions. He handed me a chunk of sculpting wax and said "here, try this". In an amazingly short time I had rendered the female model in near perfect proportion. It was as easy for me as drawing was hard. On reflection I realized my problem with drawing was my mind refused to view things in two dimensions. I could not draw in two dimensions what I saw in three dimensions. On the other hand, given the opportunity to do in three dimensions what I saw in three dimensions was incredibly easy. I have been a sculptor ever since.

I abandoned my artwork by 1981 when I took over the responsibilities for the family business and got married. I simply could not find the time to continue my art work. However, that did not mean I let my skills atrophy. Fortunately, I was in a business (home furnishings retail) that required a great deal of creativity and artistic expression. I was not sculpting with clay or wax but I was sculpting with store design and organizational structures. I found other means to keep my creative juices flowing. It provided me the opportunity to travel and, when ever possible, to expose myself to museums and significant works of art throughout this country and other parts of the world. Watching a movie or boxing or gymnastics on the TV, or, a live performance of anything I'm always studying the human figure and the human figure in motion.


In 2008 my family business and other businesses were sold and my youngest of four children went off to college. It is with these lifestyle changes that I once again saw the opportunity to return to my sculpture. This website will be continually updated with my exploration of this medium. 

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