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Scuppernong Books in Greensboro Welcomes Native Son Frank Harmon and ‘Native Places’ on January 27

Frank sketching

FRANK HARMON (PHOTO BY CHRISTINE SIMELOFF)

Multi-award-winning architect Frank Harmon, FAIA, grew up in the 1950s on Rolling Road in Greensboro. In the introduction to his new critically acclaimed book Native Places: Drawing as a Way to See, Harmon relates that he “discovered reading in the Greensboro Public Library” and that he “learned most of what I needed to know to be an architect” playing by his favorite stream, which “ran between rocky banks in East Greenway Park.”

A professor in the NC State University College of Design as well as a practicing architect, Frank Harmon has called Raleigh home for many decades. But on Sunday, January 27, he will return to his hometown when Scuppernong Books hosts a special book-signing event for Native Places and its native son. Free and open to the public, the book-signing event will begin at 3 pm.

Van Gogh’s window

Delight 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, nature, and everyday objects and places that first appeared on his popular online journal 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 a letter to the Harmon, poet, author, and former North Carolina poet laureate Fred Chappell wrote, “Native Places…has afforded me happy pleasures, different from any that I have before derived from a book. It is unusual in many ways, one of which is that it defies strict classification. It is a sketchbook, a memoir, travel journal, aesthetic experiment, a collection of small familiar essays, and maybe in some respects even a manifesto.”

Mike Welton, the 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.”

Scuppernong Books is located at 304 South Elm Street. For more information: www.scuppernongbooks.coim (336-763-1919).

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.

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.

Frank Harmon book signing at Edisto Art Guild

Edisto Art Guild to Host Architect/Author Frank Harmon and ‘Native Places: Drawing as a Way to See’

Frank Harmon book signing at Edisto Art GuildArchitect 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 the Edisto Art Guild hosts a book-signing event on Monday, January 14, in the Edisto Beach Civic Center.

Free and open to the public, the Art Guild’s event will begin at 6:30 pm when South Carolina architect Lloyd Bray introduces the Raleigh, NC-based author. 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 civic center.

Delight 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 a letter to the author, Fred Chappell, poet, author, and former North Carolina poet laureate, wrote, “Native Places…has afforded me happy pleasures, different from any that I have before derived from a book. It is unusual in many ways, one of which is that it defies strict classification. It is a sketchbook, a memoir, travel journal, aesthetic experiment, a collection of small familiar essays, and maybe in some respects even a manifesto.”

Mike Welton, the 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.”

The Edisto Beach Civic Center is located at 42 Station Court, Edisto Island, SC. (edistoartguild@gmail.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.

Frank Harmon

‘Native Places’ is more than a book; it’s a devotional

Review by Eleanor Spicer Rice, Ph.D.

Frank Harmon

Carolina Wren by Frank Harmon

When marveling over Columbus, Indiana’s city structure, Frank Harmon points to the Finnish architect Alvar Aalto’s view that “architecture belongs to culture, not civilization.” In Native Places: Drawing as a Way to See, architecture belongs to Frank Harmon, and he gives it to us like a gift.

Each page of Native Places pairs one of Harmon’s charming illustrations with a vignette of his perspective, which magnifies the small (a Carolina wren perched on an excavator, for example), shrinks the large (Kansas and Georgia landscapes seen from an airplane window), and reveals the astonishing, functional beauty of each.

Like a child picking up fistfuls of seemingly commonplace stones, Harmon gathers places in all their forms and meanings and thoughtfully lays them in his book, where the ordinary becomes extraordinary and everyday life takes on a new texture and meaning.

In Native Places, architectural marvels can be obvious, like Thomas Jefferson’s Lawn at the University of Virginia, but they also can be the often-unnoticed quotidian, like window boxes along London’s streets. After all, great architects draw lasting monoliths, or they hammer planks on sensible barns. The resulting effect is an enrichment of the reader’s everyday experience, a wonderment over the human hand-sized bricks that stack up to form our homes or the bats roosting beneath the soffits.

Frank Harmon

Window boxes in London by Frank Harmon

Native Places is more than a book; it’s a devotional. The reader can pick it up and open to any page to find a complete and renewing story. It can be read in chunks or a page at a time. It can wait beautifully and patiently for casual readers on their coffee tables, or it can be an important bedside staple.

One last, but important feature of Native Places: Drawing as a Way to See is its author. As shorebirds and dustpans have made impressions on him, people across the world have experienced Harmon’s influence as an architect. Harmon’s architectural contributions include the AIANC building, his award-winning residences, and years as a sought-after professor at NC State University. The opportunity to explore a legendary influencer’s perception is a brilliant delight, one guaranteed to leave the reader feeling gratified and with a revitalized sense of awe, if we take the time to look.

__________________________________

Eleanor Spicer Rice, Ph.D., is Senior Science Editor for Verdant Word, specializing in communicating scientific ideas to a popular audience. 

 

Native Places at Quail Ridge Books

‘Native Places: Drawing as a Way to See’ on Display at Quail Ridge Books in Raleigh

Native Places at Quail Ridge Books

Rene Martin and the rest of the terrific team at Quail Ridge Books, Raleigh’s premier bookstore, set up this lovely display of Native Places: Drawing as Way to See.

Reminder: After needing to postpone the original date (Sept. 15), Quail Ridge will host author Frank Harmon Sunday, September 23, beginning at 2 p.m. as he and the Raleigh community celebrate the release of the book that J. Michael Welton, architecture critic for the News & Observer, calls “a delightful book, destined to change how we see the world.”

Frank will give a brief talk, answer questions, then sign copies of his book and chat with the audience.

 

Quail Ridge Books Event Postponed to September 23rd

Native Places by Frank Harmon

By Juli Leonard, News & Observer

Quail Ridge Books’ Meet the Author and Book Signing event in Raleigh for Frank Harmon and Native Places: Drawing as a Way to See has been postponed to Sunday, September 23rd, beginning at 2 p.m.

If you cannot attend on that day but would like your book signed, Quail Ridge coordinator Sarah Godden asks that you call (919.828.1599) or send an email (sarah@quailridgebooks.com).

If you would prefer a refund, call the store and they will take care of that, as well.

“If you were not planning to attend and are waiting for signed books to be shipped to you,” she said, “we hope to get that done as soon as possible, weather permitting, so they can be shipped out early next week.”