sketches by Frank Harmon

Special Exhibition of Original Sketches by Frank Harmon Opens at Rebus Works January 23

The Opening Reception will include a Gallery Talk and Book-Signing

Sketches by Frank Harmon

Steam Clock by Frank Harmon

​“I make my sketches very quickly because I’m not trying to make a pretty drawing. My aim is to record, and perhaps to understand, what I’m experiencing and seeing,” explains architect/author Frank Harmon, FAIA, in his book, Native Places: Drawing as a Way to See.

On January 23 from 7:30 – 9:30 pm, Rebus Works Art Gallery in Raleigh will celebrate the book and its author with an Opening Reception and Gallery Talk for a special exhibition of the same title. On display will be 21 of Harmon’s original/one-of-a-kind, framed, 5”x7” watercolor sketches published in the book.

Frank Harmon never intended to show his sketches as stand-alone artwork, he says. But at home in Raleigh and at every stop along his on-going book tour, he’s persistently asked when they’ll be available for purchase. He was finally talked into it.

The exhibition and sale at Rebus Works will run through February 20th.

Now in its third printing, Native Places, the book, is a collection of 64 sketches paired with very brief essays. The sketches, some of them 30 years old, convey the delight Harmon finds in ordinary places and everyday objects as well as architecture and nature. Inspired by the sketches, the essays convey in only 200 words his memories, insights, and fresh interpretations of what we tend to take for granted.

Harmon has kept a sketchbook in his pocket since he was a student at the Architecture Association in London, he says. “I’d discovered that if I took a photograph of a place, I would probably forget it. But if I sketched it, I remembered that place forever.” He still makes a sketch every day.

sketches by Frank Harmon

Mill Creek Boathouse by Frank Harmon

Through his book and now the Rebus Works exhibition, Harmon hopes to prove “that hand-drawing is not an obsolete skill” and, perhaps more importantly, “…to transform the way we see.” For more information and excerpts, visit nativeplacesthebook.com.

Harmon will give a Gallery Talk on the evening of the Opening. Quail Ridge Books in Raleigh will provide copies of the book and he’ll be happy to sign them, as well.

Rebus Works is located in the Boylan Heights neighborhood at 301-2 Kinsey Street, Raleigh 27603 (919-754-8452). For details and directions: rebusworks.us.

About Frank Harmon

Frank Harmon, FAIA, has designed sustainable modern buildings across the Southeast for 30 years. He discovered architecture as a child playing in the streams and woods of his native Greensboro, North Carolina. His work engages pressing contemporary issues such as “placelessness,” sustainability, and restoration of cities and nature.

A Fellow of the American Institute of Architects, Harmon is a graduate of the Architectural Association in London and a popular professor of architecture at the North Carolina State University College of Design. He has taught at the Architectural Association and has been a visiting critic at Harvard University, Yale University, and the University of Virginia. He continues to serve as a visiting critic at Auburn University’s renowned Rural Studio.

Frank Harmon Native Places

Cameron Art Museum Presents ‘Native Places’ Lecture and Workshop

Cameron Art Museum, Wilmington, NC

Cameron Art Museum (CAM) in Wilmington will host a reception and book signing event for celebrated architect/author Frank Harmon when he shares his new book Native Places: Drawing as a Way to See during an illustrated lecture on Thursday, October 24th, 6:30 – 8 p.m. Harmon will then lead an Urban Sketching Workshop in downtown Wilmington on Saturday morning, October. 26th, from 9 am-noon.

A Fellow of the American Institute of Architects and a professor of architecture at NC State University’s College of Design, Frank Harmon lead his multi-award-winning firm in Raleigh for over three decades.

Five years ago he launched NativePlaces.org, an online journal that paired watercolor sketches he’s made over those decades – of buildings and nature, landscapes and cityscapes, everyday objects and ordinary places — with fresh 200-word essays that convey the delight he finds in each subject. The essays never repeat what’s visible in the sketches. Instead, they elucidate ideas and thoughts inspired by those images.

Published by ORO Editions, Native Places: Drawing as a Way to See, is a collection of 64 sketch-essay pairings that Charles D. Linn, FAIA, former deputy editor of Architectural Record, helped Harmon cull from the online journal and organize into a book.

During his illustrated lecture at CAM, Harmon will share excerpts from Native Places and examples of his own architectural work to illustrate his belief that sketching “as a way to see” enhances the grace with which we observe and appreciate all sorts of “native places.”

“If I take a photograph of something, I’ll soon forget it,” he adds. “But if I draw something, it remains in my mind forever.”

After his presentation, Harmon will take questions from the audience then sign copies of his book, which will be available for purchase at CAM.

During the Urban Sketching Workshop on Saturday, October 26th, the author will share his belief that drawing in the digital age is far from obsolete. Rather, “it is transformative in the way we observe and interact with the world around us.” Participants should bring their own sketchpads and pencils.

Tickets to the lecture are $12 for CAM members, $17 for non-members, and $8 for students with valid IDs. Those registered for the Saturday workshop will be admitted to the lecture free of charge.

Cameron Art Museum is located at 3201 South 17th Street, Wilmington, NC 28412. For more information, including how to purchase tickets, visit cameronartmuseum.org.

For more information on Frank Harmon and Native Places: Drawing as a Way to See, visit nativeplacesthebook.com.