by Christy Rodriguez de Conte
The second annual Artcase event shines in Tallahassee April 28-30 during 2023’s National Autism Month. Betty Proctor delights in providing a positive space for artists across the autism spectrum or of varying abilities to showcase and sell their artwork.
Over the years, Betty Proctor has become a strong entrepreneur, community organizer, and creative crafter. Her love of crafting began as many of our passions do: watching our loved ones enjoy the act of art-making. With three older sisters and a brother, Proctor always had no problem finding inspiration.
Fondly recalling the hours watching one of her sisters refurbish their doll house, Proctor’s sister would elegantly paint the walls and cut cardboard to create new furniture and clothing for its residents. Sisterly love fueled a fondness for art and curating as she followed her other artist sister around college and conferences in awe.
During the 2016 holiday season, Proctor found herself unfulfilled by the commercial gifts available. To counter this, she made earrings and bracelets for her sisters and mom. The best gift that year was the discovery of her own artistic flair.
Proctor’s confidence grew as people’s interest peaked, and soon, her work evolved to include using wood, wire, and metal to create original jewelry. “There are so many things you can do with it. You can create so many beautiful things and use different techniques,” says Proctor. “But I do consider it an art form because you are expressing yourself.”
Today Proctor proudly owns Obsessions Gift Shop in Railroad Square Art District. The shop opened in 2017 to give other artists and vendors a space to try their craft. She co-founded the nonprofit Motivating People through Arts and Crafts (MPAC), aiming to enhance connections, entrepreneurship, and employment primarily for persons with autism, neurodiversity challenges and unique abilities through crafting.
Read the rest of the article on the Tallahassee Democrat.