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Celebrated Architect/Author Frank Harmon To Present Lecture, Sketching Workshop in Old Town Alexandria

Hosted by the Northern Virginia Fine Arts Association

Frank sketching

Frank Harmon. (Photo by Christine Simeloff)

Frank Harmon, FAIA, a multi-award-winning architect from North Carolina and the author of the new critically acclaimed book Native Places: Drawing as a Way to See, will be in Old Town Alexandria, VA, on May 17th and 18th, sponsored by the Northern Virginia Fine Arts Association (NVFAA).

Harmon will give a lecture focused on his book and his reasons for writing it on Friday the 17th at 7 p.m. in the Athenaeum on the corner of South Lee and Prince streets. On Saturday the 18th beginning at 10 a.m., he will lead an Urban Sketching Workshop around Old Town. Participants will also gather at the Athenaeum.

Both events are free and open to the public. However, the NFVAA asks those interested in either or both to email admin@nvfaa.org. Participation in the Urban Sketching Workshop is limited.Native Places by Frank Harmon

Published by ORO Editions, Native Places: Drawing as a Way to See is a collection of 64 of Harmon’s watercolor sketches – some he drew over 30 years ago — paired with brief essays he’s written about architecture, nature, everyday objects, and ordinary places. The pairs first appeared in his popular online journal NativePlaces.org.

The sketches in Native Places convey the delight the architect finds in these places and things. The short essays, inspired by the sketches, offer his fresh interpretations of what most people take for granted. His goal with both the online journal and the book is “to transform the way we see,” he says, and to promote his belief that hand drawing offers “an opportunity to develop a natural grace in the way we view the world and take part in it.”

To that end, he will lead 15 sketching enthusiasts around Alexandria’s picturesque Old Town for the same sort of urban sketching workshop that has proven popular when he’s conducted it at Auburn University’s renowned Rural Studio in New Bern, Alabama; in Asheville and Raleigh, North Carolina; and elsewhere.

“We are very excited to have Frank Harmon come to the historic Athenaeum for two wonderful programs,” said NVFAA’s Executive Director Veronica Szalus. “We’re looking forward to hearing Frank read from his book and share his engaging insights on sketching and the urban environment during the lecture, then show us how to learn to truly see the world around us through sketching during the Saturday workshop. It’s going to be a great weekend.”

The NVFAA will have copies of Native Places available for purchase. For more information on the book and its author, visit nativeplacesthebook.com.

An art gallery, historic landmark, and home of the NVFAA, the Athenaeum is located at 201 Prince Street, Alexandria, VA 22314 (703.548.0035).

 

Charlotte’s Park Road Books Welcomes Frank Harmon and ‘Native Places’

Park Road Books, Charlotte’s oldest continuously operated independent bookstore, will host a presentation and book-signing event with celebrated Raleigh architect/author Frank Harmon, FAIA, and his new book  Native Places: Drawing as a Way to See on Sunday, April 28, 2-4 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.

Published by ORO Editions, Native Places: Drawing as a Way to See is a collection of 64 of Harmon’s watercolor sketches paired with brief essays he’s written about architecture, nature, everyday objects, and ordinary places, which first appeared on his popular online journal NativePlaces.org. The sketches convey the delight he finds in ordinary things. The short essays, inspired by the sketches, offer his fresh interpretations of what most people take for granted.

Former NC Poet Laureate Fred Chappell describes Harmon’s unique book as “a sketchbook, a memoir, travel journal, aesthetic experiment, a collection of small familiar essays, and maybe in some respects even a manifesto,” adding, “Native Places…has afforded me happy pleasures, different from any that I have before derived from a book.”

Harmon is a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects, a multi-award-winning practitioner, and a former professor at NC State University’s College of Design. His mission for Native Places is “to transform the way we see,” he says, and to promote his belief that hand drawing offers “an opportunity to develop a natural grace in the way we view the world and take part in it.”

Mission accomplished, according to Mike Welton, the architecture critic for the Raleigh News & Observer. In his review of the book, Welton suggests Native Places is “destined to change how we see this world.” And among praise from prominent architects, Tom Kundig of Olson-Kundig in Seattle calls Harmon’s book “a masterful legacy on all levels.”

Park Road Books is located at 4139 Park Road, Charlotte, NC 28209 (704-525-9239). For more information, visit www.parkroadbooks.com.

To see a video about Frank Harmon and Native Places: Drawing as a Way to See and read excerpts from the book, visit the book’s website (nativeplacesthebook.com) and Facebook page.

Frank Harmon Times Two on January 22: “The State of Things” and The Regulator Bookshop host the architect/author and his new book, ‘Native Places’

 

At noon on Tuesday, January 22, award-winning architect-turned-author Frank Harmon will join Frank Stasio on the latter’s live public radio show “The State of Things” (91.5 FM) at noon. That evening, at 7 p.m., Harmon will join book enthusiasts at The Regulator Bookshop in Durham when the store’s owners, Wander Lorentz de Haas and Elliot Berger, host a book-signing event with Durham architect Ellen Cassilly introducing the author.

Both occasions will celebrate Harmon’s new, critically acclaimed book Native Places: Drawing as a Way to See.

Published by ORO Editions, Native Places is a collection of 64 of Harmon’s watercolor sketches paired with 200-word essays he’s written about architecture, nature, and everyday objects and places that first appeared in his popular online journal NativePlaces.org. The sketches convey the delight he finds in ordinary places and things. The short essays, inspired by the sketches, offer his fresh interpretations of what most people take for granted — from an old screen door on the Carolina coast to a handmade plow in Provence.

Harmon’s goal for Native Places is, in fact, “to transform the way we see,” he says, and to promote his belief that hand drawing offers “an opportunity to develop a natural grace in the way we view the world and take part in it.”

On January 22, he will explain both concepts at The Regulator and on “The State of Things.”

“Leonardo Da Vinci said that drawing was a way to understand the world,” Harmon offers. “The point is not to make a pretty drawing. The point is to draw what you see.”

*     *     *

Produced by North Carolina Public Radio on WUNC-FM, “The State of Things” spotlights North Carolina issues, personalities, and places. The live show featuring Frank Harmon will air at noon then be rebroadcast at 8 pm.

Located at 720 Ninth Street, The Regulator Bookshop has been a popular destination for Durham book enthusiasts since John Valentine and Tom Campbell founded the store in 1976. Employees there for many years, Wander Lorentz de Haas and Elliot Berger bought The Regulator in March of 2018.

The Regulator event is free and open to the public and copies of Harmon’s book will be available for purchase. For more information: regulatorbookshop.com (919-286-2700).

For more information on Native Places: Drawing as a Way to See and to keep up with future events, visit nativeplacesthebook.com and the book’s Facebook page.

 

Frank Harmon at Blue Bicycle Books

Charleston’s Blue Bicycle Books Hosts Architect/Author Frank Harmon and ‘Native Places’ on January 17.

Frank Harmon at Blue Bicycle Books

Architect and author Frank Harmon, FAIA, who designed the modern, award-winning Sunday School addition to the historic Circular Congregational Church in Charleston and the “Seven Sisters” residence on St. Helena Island, will present his new, critically acclaimed book  Native Places: Drawing as a Way to See when Blue Bicycle Books hosts a book-signing event on Thursday, January 17, beginning at 5 p.m.

Free and open to the public, the event will begin with an introduction of the Raleigh, NC-based author by South Carolina architect Whitney Powers. Harmon will then give a presentation about his book and his passion for hand sketching. After a Q&A with the audience, he will sign copies of Native Places, which will be available for purchase in the store.

Native Places by Frank HarmonDelight in Ordinary Places:  Published by ORO Editions, Native Places: Drawing as a Way to See is a collection of 64 of Harmon’s watercolor sketches paired with brief essays he’s written about architecture, everyday objects and sites, and nature that first appeared on his internationally popular blog NativePlaces.org. The sketches convey the delight he finds in ordinary places. The short essays, inspired by the sketches, offer his fresh interpretations of what most people take for granted.

Harmon’s goal for Native Places is, in fact, “to transform the way we see,” he says, and to promote his belief that hand drawing offers “an opportunity to develop a natural grace in the way we view the world and take part in it.” He will explain both concepts in his presentation.

What others are saying about Native Places: In his review of the book, Charles Linn, FAIA, architect, writer, and former deputy editor of Architectural Record, wrote, “For those who love drawing, seek enlightenment and inspiration from the things they may pass by every day, and perhaps want to capture them in their own sketchbooks, I give Native Places my highest recommendation.” (Linn also helped Harmon select and organize the sketch-essay pairs for the book.)

Mike Welton, architecture critic for the Raleigh News & Observer, calls Harmon’s book “delightful” and suggests that it is “destined to change how we see this world.”

Tom Kundig, FAIA, of Olsen Kundig Architects in Seattle, WA, praises Harmon and his book for “reminding us in brilliant, thoughtful, quiet meditation our unbelievable luck to be alive and to think. A masterful legacy on all levels.”

Owned and operated by Jonathan Sanchez, Blue Bicycle Books is located at 420 King Street, Charleston, SC 29403 (843.722.2666); bluebicyclebooks.com.

For more details on Frank Harmon and Native Places: Drawing as a Way to See, visit the book’s website (nativeplacesthebook.com) and Facebook page.