Katherine A. Nash
Although I was born in Hampton Roads, I’m a Tennessee girl at heart. My mother and I moved to Gatlinburg when I was 9 and I promptly fell in love with the outdoors and Appalachian Mountains. Gatlinburg as we [and all the tourists] know it today exists because of a settlement school founded in 1912, which went on to later establish the Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts. Their regionally established handcraft program, and later the arts school, is one of the big reasons the arts are so important locally and why I never grew out of my childhood hobbies of drawing, painting, or anything else art related.
I received a full scholarship to FSU and chose to major in Interior Design – a decision I saw as a very practical solution to finding a creative career path – and minored in both art and math. After working for an architecture firm in Raleigh after graduation, I decided to go back to school, this time for Interior Architecture with a Historic Preservation concentration. I loved the hands on work we did with stabilizing old structures and learning old construction methods and, of course, the revitalization and re-use of historic buildings really spoke to me. After I graduated from UNCG, I moved to Richmond, Virginia. I struggled to find design or preservation work, but took Revit and 3dmax classes while working full time and continuing the job search. In the meantime, I fell in love with all that Richmond had to offer, especially its extensive park system, and really felt at home for the first time as an adult.
Fast forward four years and one move to Norfolk for a job with a scenic design company. In the last three years, I’ve been slowly re-entering the design world as well as establishing myself locally as an artist in Hampton Roads. I have found a warm, inviting, involved community with the Norfolk Drawing Group and feel like I’ve really grown my artistic abilities. The love of the outdoors is still very important to me and I try to sneak away regularly on weekends to the James River or Shenandoah for kayaking, hiking, and backpacking. I’m beyond excited to have joined the INNOVATE team and am looking forward to this last piece of the puzzle – my career – falling into place at long last.