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."