Nathaniel Lewis grew up in Beaver Falls, near Pittsburgh, Pa. Nate benefited from the cultural mix of his Trinidad-born father who was raised in Brooklyn and his white American-born mother, raised in Philadelphia. He graduated from VCU with his BSN and has been a practicing critical care nurse for the past five years. He planned to follow in his father’s footsteps and become a certified nurse anesthetist.
However, in his last year of college he became interested in the arts. First, it was music. Violin. He then became intrigued with visual arts in 2010. Mindless doodling evolved into deliberate sketching and drawing. His earliest work incorporated musical instruments with elements of anatomy, organs and cells. He presented this work, with his sister’s assistance and often, her collaboration, under the moniker Somaphony. During this time, he began realizing the importance of building community through art. From this he started a regularly occurring event to bring artists and the greater community together called Sketch Lounge, which he holds in venues throughout Washington, DC.
In 2013, he started exploring the use of diagnostic electrocardiogram paper in his work, which led him to a more focused study of paper itself. He began sculpting individual sheets of white paper into 2-3d forms. He then started blending his unique approach with paper sculpture to photos. Within the first year and a half of showing his paper sculptures, he has exhibited in Washington DC, New York, Miami, and San Francisco. He was the 2014 regional winner of the Bombay sapphire artisan series, he then went on to compete at the national event in Miami, and is also a DC Commission of the Arts and Humanities visual arts fellowship grant recipient for 2015 and 2016.