Mon. - Closed

Tue./Wed. - 10am - 5pm

Thurs. - 10am - 7pm

Fri./Sat. - 10am - 5pm

Sun. - Closed

*Closed City Observed Holidays

Steve Nakatani  - Ceramics

A non-profit community art center located in Norfolk's NEON District  ---  740 Boush St. Norfolk, VA 23510  ---  757-625-4211

"Coming of age in the 1990’s East Bay Area (California) and being raised by a large family of inquisitive makers meant that art was everywhere during my formative years.  My grandma loved quilting, my mom started a small business: Crafts for Kids - a mail based craft kit subscription, my brother was meant for theater, my grandpa and uncle were beekeepers, and that is just a handful of wonderful people that I grew up around or heard stories about.  Our summer vacations were spent fishing and hiking in the Sierra Nevada mountain range.  In that wilderness I gained an unrelenting admiration for nature, not only for her wonder but also for her healing qualities that I try to exhibit through my work.

Then came high school (slacker), U.S. Marine Corps (oorah!), and in 2004 I became a stay-at-home dad, using free time to study arts (and cooking) through self-guided instruction, primarily focusing on photography.  As my kiddo rose through the grades, more time freed up, and I earned a degree in computer aided drafting design (CADD, mechanical discipline) through Tidewater Community College (TCC).  After a few months of being hired to create rectangles all day on a computer I would leave work feeling uninspired, but I immensely enjoyed the design aspect of CADD.  So I headed back to TCC to study a more tangible subject: ceramics, and fell for the clay art immediately.  Instead of working through a monitor, still utilizing my drawing/design skills, I was working with my hands (and in three dimensions!) with seemingly limitless creative possibilities.

As the Spring of 2018 semester came to an end, I was offered an opportunity to work at the TCC Visual Arts Center campus as the ceramic instructor’s studio assistant.  That is where, for the next year, I learned pertinent skills required for several behind-the-scenes aspects of operating a studio.  Some examples include: kiln troubleshooting and repair, glaze mixing, kiln firing, preparing demonstration materials, all the while maintaining a clean, safe, and organized work environment, and keeping up with assignments.  During the Spring 2019 semester I took on the additional responsibility as the Student Art League Vice President, in that time we organized a donation drive, participated in multiple educational demonstrations, and managed several student sales opportunities.  That year took a lot, but I gained a lot, too.

Like so many other Americans, I spent the time during our Covid shutdown reflecting on my trajectory and decided to dedicate my time and energy on my passion for the arts, and I am thankful for the opportunity to work, teach, and display at d'Art Center.

One last thing before I end, I would like to take this moment to give due credit to my family, friends, and teachers that have encouraged me to pursue the arts.  I am eternally grateful for their support."  


Contact: swnakatani@gmail.com