The Party’s Over (For Now)

We took down The Smithy show on Sunday. It was a spectacular month. Nate sold six pieces, got solid local press and the feedback on the show was phenomenal. Recently we heard two great stories.


Students in a folk art class were sent to review Nate’s show. I heard they were bowled over, detecting patterns in his work that their teacher hadn’t noticed. They also did a little research into artists like Nate, autistic or related, and found that architecture is a common theme. It must be the structure and predictability of buildings that grabs their attention. For Nate that’s certainly a part of the attraction, the repetitive and comforting sameness of malls. For sure he brings out their differences and unique beauty, but the uniformity is undeniable.

The other reaction came from a former area gallery owner who, I’ve been informed, has a national reputation. Here’s the conversation, as related to me by my neighbor, who was on the other side of it.

“I was just at The Smithy with the head of a museum and, on the third floor, was this incredible show.”

“You mean Nate’s stuff?”

“You know the artist?”

“It’s Nate Katz. He’s my neighbor.”

“Jeff’s son?” The former gallery owner knows me a little.


“The work is incredible. I’d love to represent him.”

So maybe that’s the next step, that someone in the art world grabs ahold of Nate and pulls him to the next level. I recently sent out emails about Nate to outsider art galleries in New York and Chicago. I’d love to get him back to Illinois, a triumphant hero returning to the area he loves so much. It’s possible.


About Jeff Katz

Jeff Katz is Mayor of Cooperstown, the “Birthplace of Baseball” and home to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. His latest book, Split Season:1981 - Fernandomania, the Bronx Zoo, and the Strike that Saved Baseball, (Thomas Dunne Books, 2015), received national attention, with coverage appearing in The New York Times, Chicago Tribune, Sporting News and NPR’s Only a Game, among others. Katz appeared on ESPN’s Olbermann and The Sporting Life with Jeremy Schaap and MLB Network’s MLB Now, with Brian Kenny. Split Season: 1981 was a finalist for the 2016 Casey Award for Best Baseball Book of the Year.
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