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Business Beat

August 10, 2013

Autistic artist's work to be displayed


This spring, a woman saw the website and commissioned a work for her boyfriend to remind him of his hometown, Lake Zurich, Ill.

When Smithy director Danielle Newell saw some of the pieces, she asked if she could set up a Cooperstown show.

“The thing that excites me about Nate’s work is his devotion to his subject matter,” Newell said. “So often, artists wait for inspiration to strike, but in Nate’s case, he has a methodical, almost scientific, approach to the creative process.”

“Strip malls are not traditionally considered ‘beautiful.’ However, through Nate’s eyes, we see another point of view,” she continued. “For me, it has re-framed my perspective and caused me to consider what is worth exploring as an artist and as a human being. The answer, I think, is everything.”

This week, the Katz family is busy setting up for the show. Pieces have to be moved and set up. Some of the bigger drawings will be carried by Nate’s younger brothers, who will walk them from the family’s Chestnut Street home over to the gallery.

The opening reception is Monday from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. The exhibit will run through Sept. 15, but Nate’s obsession will likely continue even after the show. So too will his father’s desire to help Nate transition to an adult life.

Through Arc of Otsego they are looking for a part-time job that utilizes his computer skills and can downplay his limitations.

Jeff also blogs about the challenges and joys of having an autistic son – though the blogging has been light lately while he works on his baseball book about the 1982 baseball strike – at

Nate also has a second web store, Alpha Folks, which sells T-shirts. That site is more of a work in progress, but the work will continue.

“I am happy to have him get recognition for this,” Jeff said. “As long as he is willing to produce the work, I am more than happy to do the other work (to sell them) for him.”

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