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               Artist

  Hideaki (Aki)  Kato













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Aki was born in Yokohama, Japan in September of 1957. He attended public elementary and junior high school. He started to draw and paint at an early age. By age 7, he understood the concepts of the color wheel and perspective, and he began incorporating them into his painting. In 1973, because of his older brother's influence and his father's encouragement, he decided to enter military high school.

He graduated from military high school in Yokosuka in 1976. Immediately after his graduation, he decided to go to the United States to study art. He went to Washington D.C in the fall of 1976. He studied English at Catholic University of America. The Following year he moved to Gainesville, Florida. He spent the next 2 years at a nearby community college before entering the University of Florida's Fine Art program. In 1988 he moved back to Japan and worked for the U.S. Army as a civilian.

In 1990, Aki returned to Florida. He studied at the University of Central Florida on scholarship, where he earned a place on either the President's or Dean's list every semester. After graduating with a Bachelor's in Fine Arts degree, Aki worked at Universal Studios in Orlando as a scenic painter. During that period he developed Crohn's Disease, which forced him to leave Universal Studios.

Aki moved to Atlanta and worked for a Japanese newspaper. He displayed his work at several art galleries such as Eclectica, Chiken Lips, and the Defoe Center.

He was hired at Habersham in Toccoa, Ga. Habersham was the industry's leading, hand painted furniture manufacturer. There he worked with 20 other artists from the United States and Europe. In 2000, he was recruited by the newly formed company, Camden Field, in Hendersonville, North Carolina as head artist.

He moved to Beaufort, S.C. in 2003 with Camden Field. He was commissioned to paint the South Carolina State Seal by the Clerk of Court's Office of Beaufort County in 2007. Today this seal is exhibited in the Beaufort County Court House. In 2011, he was selected to be Habitat for Humanity's featured artist for their annual art auction and painted their poster. He continues to paint, and he has many faithful clients for whom he does commissionned work.









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