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August 11, 2013

'Obsessive Construction' to highlight autistic artist's passion


“Most of what he does is Chicago strip malls,” Jeff said. “Then I was going through them one time, and I found one that was labeled ‘Richfield Springs.’ That was surprising. Except it was a drawing of the Richfield Springs Walmart, which doesn’t exist.”

“I’ve been doing this for years,” Nate said, in one of his few enunciations about his work, “but some of it is new.” Later he admits that his show, which will take up the entire third flood of the Smithy Pioneer Gallery is “very exciting.”

Next week’s show is not his first art installation. In June of 2012, he had a New York City show in the Leonard Tourne Gallery in SoHo. Several drawings were sold at that show. A few were to friends of the family, but several more were to strangers. 

“That’s always very gratifying, when it is a stranger,” Jeff said.

The first show was arranged when a family friend, Doug Miller of Fly Creek, saw the drawings. Miller, who owns Green River Stone Co., often sells his fossils at the gallery.

“A lot of times, when Nate redraws something he would throw the old one away,” Jeff said, “because in his mind, he is done with the old one. Doug has a background in art. I think his degree is in art history. He was over at the house, and he saw a pile that was going to be thrown away. He said to Nate, ‘don’t throw these away, I’d like to do something with them.’”

Since the first show, sales have been steady. Priced by size, a small drawing goes for $60. Larger ones cost $120. Several that are four feet long or more, are priced at $600.

The drawings are also for sale online on the website Etsy, under the store logo Strip Mall Art. The page has had hundreds of views and four sales. It has  been featured by other artists in the Etsy community.

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