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Frank Harmon Native Places

Book Talks in the Time of Coronavirus: Frank Harmon Goes Virtual

Frank Harmon Native Places

FRANK HARMON, FAIA (photo by William Morgan)

On Thursday, May 21, from 5-6 p.m., Frank Harmon, FAIA, will discuss his book, Native Places: Drawing as a Way to See, and his intent to change the way we observe the world around us, via an interactive webinar sponsored by American Institute of Architect’s Washington, DC. chapter.

Architects will receive LU credits by attending.

The virtual event is open to the public but registration is required. To register, click here then click on the red “Attend” button. Attendance fees range from  $10 to $25. How to attend Frank’s talk will be in the confirmation email following registration.

During his talk, Frank will read excerpts from Native Places. He’ll also discuss how sketching influenced his architectural work and taught him to truly “see” and appreciate th vernacular, no matter how ordinary.

The AIA | DC event is part of Frank’s year-long book tour. After traveling to book stores and other venues up and down the east coast and as far west as Tucson, Frank’s tour seemed to stop when the pandemic struck — until AIA | DC proposed a virtual version.

Frank will answer questions from attendees following his talk. He can’t sign books after that, but the AIA |DC  host will direct everyone to the “Buy Now” button on the book’s website: nativeplacesthebook.com

For all the details on the event, including the Learning Objectives, go to AIA | DC’s calendar.

Frank Harmon on US Modernist Radio

“And now for a few minutes with Frank Harmon…”

Frank Harmon Native Places

FRANK HARMON, FAIA (photo by William Morgan)

Beginning May 4th at 3 p.m., Frank Harmon, FAIA, will become a recurring guest on US Modernist Radio: Architecture You Love, the popular podcast hosted by George Smart and Frank King.

Once a month, Smart will introduce the Raleigh architect/author with the tagline “And now for a few minutes with Frank Harmon.” Frank will then read excerpts from his book Native Places: Drawing as a Way to See.

“US Modernist Radio is a bright spot in my day,” Frank said. “What a wonderful way to keep in touch with architects everywhere.

Frank Harmon on US Modernist Radio

 About the Podcast:

George Smart, founder and president of the non-profit organization NC Modernist Houses, created US Modernist Radio to appeal to midcentury modern design enthusiasts.  In July 2019, it was included in Dwell magazine’s “Top 9 Design and Architecture Podcasts To Tune Into.”

US Modernist Radio “is both entertaining but informative, and hosts George Smart and Frank King spend each episode interviewing architects, designers, historians, preservationists, advocacy experts, museum curators, homeowners, and others—just about anyone who “owns, creates, dreams about, preserves, loves, and hates Modernist architecture, the most exciting and controversial buildings in the world.” Click here to listen via an assortment of apps. The live shows load at 3 p.m.

For more information on Frank and Native Places, visit nativeplacesthebook.com.

Architect/author Frank Harmon's article in Walter Magazine

WALTER: “Home Grown – Frank Harmon’s Garden”

 

Architect/author Frank Harmon's article in Walter Magazine

Frank Harmon watches his garden fill with plantings—and memories
by Frank Harmon for WALTER magazine | illustration by  Judy Harmon

Every spring a lawn care company tosses a flyer over my garden gate. They promise to make my lawn perfect by using herbicides and pesticides. But I think I’ll keep the lawn just as it is, with scatterings of chickweed, withered starflower stems, and the occasional snakeskin.

I live in a small pink stucco house near N.C. State University. My wife Judy and I designed the house and garden in 1989. We broke ground on Valentine’s Day and moved in a year later. Then we planted the lawn.

We’d put down roots. READ MORE…

NC author Frank Harmon, Native Places

Frank Harmon Agrees to Show and Sell Original Sketches Through Two Raleigh Art Vanues

NC author Frank Harmon's Native Places

BROOKS AVENUE, RALEIGH

For the first time, and after receiving many requests, Raleigh architect/author Frank Harmon, FAIA, is about to make a limited number of his original 5” x 7” watercolor sketches available for purchase — drawings lifted straight out of his personal sketchbooks, many of which are published in his new hardback book, Native Places: Drawing as a Way to See (ORO Editions, publisher).

“At some point during nearly every stop along my book tour this past year, from Charleston to Austin, I’ve been asked when I’m going to sell some of my sketches,” Harmon explained recently. “Friends and colleagues have been asking the same question quite persistently. I’m delighted to finally do so, on a limited basis, through two of my favorite Raleigh art venues.”

NC author Frank Harmon, Native Places

VAN GOGH’S WINDOW

Abie Harrie Studio

On Saturday and Sunday, December 7 and 8, from noon until 6 p.m., 10 of his original sketches will be part of a special event in architect/artist Abie Harris’s studio at 222 Hawthorne Road, Raleigh. Harmon’s drawings will be shown and sold alongside original work by four well-known Raleigh artists: Drew Deane, Corey Mason, Bert Sultz, and the show’s host Abie Harris.

Rebus Works

Also on December 8, from 1-5 p.m., Rebus Works in Raleigh’s Boylan Heights neighborhood will display 21 original sketches published in Native Places during the 2019 Boylan Heights Art Walk. Presented in related groups of three, the drawings will remain in the gallery and for sale from the 8th through, and after, an official Opening & Gallery Talk that Rebus Works is planning for January 23rd (details to be announced soon).

NC architect, author Frank Harmon, Native Places

RURAL STUDIO

Quail Ridge Books, Raleigh’s leading independent book store, will make copies of Native Places: Drawing as a Way to See available at Rebus Works throughout the run of Harmon’s exhibition before and after the January Opening. Rebus Works is located at 301-2 Kinsey Street, Raleigh.

And where’s Frank?

That Sunday, Frank Harmon himself will be on hand for the two shows – at one time or another. “It will be very interesting,” he said with a smile. “And I can’t wait to see everyone at both.”

AIA Austin Welcomes Architect/Author Frank Harmon, FAIA, and His New Book “Native Places”

Austin Central Library

Frank Harmon, FAIA, a multi-award-winning architect from Raleigh, North Carolina, and the author of the critically acclaimed book Native Places: Drawing as a Way to See, will be in Austin Tuesday, November 12, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. for a lecture and book-signing event hosted by the Austin chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA Austin).

As the architect of the modern, thoroughly sustainable AIA NC Center for Architecture & Design building in Raleigh, he will also address AIA Austin’s plans for a similar structure.

Frank Harmon’s appearance is part of AIA Austin’s “Design Talks” Luncheon Series held in the Lake | Flato-designed Austin Central Library.

“AIA Austin is thrilled to welcome an architecture and drawing master like Frank to Austin,” said Ingrid Spencer, Executive Director of AIA Austin and the Austin Foundation for Architecture. “Because Frank designed the only ground-up Center for Architecture in the country, and we’re striving to create such a place in Austin, we are extra excited for his visit.”

After a brief AIA Austin Annual Meeting, architect and professor Lawrence Speck will introduce Harmon, who will then discuss and read excerpts from Native Places and share his reasons for writing it. One of those reasons is his lifelong belief that drawing offers the opportunity “to transform the way we see” the world around us.

“Sketching allows us to see what we might not have noticed,” Harmon says. “It allows us to be present.”

Frank’s tiny watercolor set sits on the counter with ‘Native 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, everyday objects, and ordinary places. The pairs first appeared in his popular online journal NativePlaces.org.

The sketches in Native Places, some of which are 30 years old, 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.

Seattle architect Tom Kundig, FAIA, calls Harmon’s book “a masterful legacy on all levels.” Architect Marlon Blackwell, FAIA, of Fayetteville, Arkansas, offers this:

Native Places provides a reflective pause in my busy day to consider the humanity of buildings and places. I find my sense of hope and possibility renewed in these simple, evocative drawings and the wisdom that accompanies them.”

BookPeople, the leading independent bookstore in Texas since 1970, will make copies of Native Places available for purchase so attendees can get them signed by the author.

Advance tickets for the November 12 “Design Talks” event are $30 for AIA and Allied AIA members, $15 for Associate members and students, and $40 for non-members. Tickets purchased at the door November 12 will be $40 for AIA and Allied AIA members and $20 for Associate members and students. To register and secure advanced tickets click here.

Austin Central Library is located at 710 West Cesar Chevez Street, Austin, TX 78701 (512-452-4332). For more information on the November 12 event and AIA Austin, visit aiaaustin.org.

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

 

Readers' Favorite Review Native Places

Book Review: “Profoundly relevant observations about life and place”

by Joel R. Dennstedt for Readers’ Favorite®, Oct. 26, 2019

Sketching is a fine art of suggestibility and essence, and it is not properly relegated only to the physical artist. In writing, sketching is done with quick vignettes, following the same imperatives: Suggesting briefly, catching the essence, engaging the imagination.

In Native Places, a most wonderful compilation and combination of physical and written sketches about life and place, Frank Harmon adds this personal observation: “But if I sketched it, I remembered that place forever.”

…a most wonderful compilation and combination of physical and written sketches about life and place…

Harmon is an architect. As such, he has a keen eye for the manner in which human beings reveal themselves in their buildings, including as equally important the manner in which they “context” these structures within gardens, trees, and other unique local environments. “I learned to trust the particular over the general,” he writes, “in many ways like writers who are more attuned to the particular.”

Frank Harmon’s observational eye is equal to his conceptual one. And in Native Places, he makes profoundly relevant observations about life and place. “Historians usually ignore what we’ve come to know as the vernacular. Yet the motives of the makers of vernacular buildings and places are practical, and the result is often aesthetic.” Chew on that one for a while, and appreciate the power of what Harmon refers to as “ordinariness”.

Spending quality time with the lovely sketches in this book – both physical and conceptual, painted and written – is like attending to daily meditations about spiritual matters, but without the guilt or sense of obligation. What remains is the pure, essential pleasure, if brief, of human celebration.

Book Rating: 5 Star
Readers' Favorite review 5 star seal

WALTER magazine: “Frank Harmon shares his sketches of North Carolina”

Hewitt Pottery, Pittsboro, NC, by Frank Harmon

Whether you’ve lived here for decades or just a few months, it’s easy to be oblivious to your surroundings. In Native Places: Drawing as a Way to See, architect Frank Harmon reminds us to see beauty all around through a collection of sketches and notes he created over the years. “Since I was a boy, sketching has proved invaluable. If I took a photograph of a place, I would forget it. But if I drew it, I would remember it forever,” he says. By putting pen to paper, Harmon turns ordinary scenes into extraordinary ones and finds joy in the familiar. “I hope readers will share my delight and find some native places of their own… and perhaps even draw.” READ MORE

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.

Flyleaf Books Welcomes Architect/Author Frank Harmon and ‘Native Places’ February 10th

Multi-award-winning architect/author Frank Harmon, FAIA, who designed the NC Botanical Garden Visitor Education Center on Old Mason Farm Road, will be in Chapel Hill on Sunday, February 10, when Flyleaf Books hosts a special event to celebrate his new book, Native Places: Drawing as a Way of Seeing.

Free and open to the public, the event will begin at 2 pm when Chapel Hill architect Phil Szostak, FAIA, introduces his friend, colleague, and mentor. Harmon will then discuss the genesis of his book and his passion for sketching in a 20-minute presentation. After a Q&A session with the audience, he will sign copies of Native Places, which will be available for purchase at Flyleaf.

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 200-word essays he’s written about architecture, nature, 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.

“Each essay and corresponding drawing helped me appreciate the beauty in all types of buildings and the natural world that surrounds them.”

What others are saying about Native Places

In a letter to 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.”

“It’s accessible and beautiful writing that’s thought-provoking, spiritual and uplifting. It’s like he knew what we needed,” said Julieta Sherk, landscape architect, professor, and J. William Fulbright Global Scholar.

And among the many positive reviews on Amazon, one reader offers: “This book is inspiring, educational and uplifting. Each essay and corresponding drawing helped me appreciate the beauty in all types of buildings and the natural world that surrounds them. During these troubled times, we need books like this to remind us to take time to appreciate our surroundings. The combination of Frank Harmon’s artwork and his well-written essays opened my eyes to a new and positive way of viewing architecture and nature.”

Flyleaf Books is located at 752 MLK Jr. Boulevard, Chapel Hill. For more information visit www.flyleafbooks.com (919-942-7373).

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.

WUNC 91.5: ” ‘Native Places’ Encourages Readers To Appreciate The Design Around Them”

By Laura Pellicer & Frank Stasio

Frank Harmon has made a career of designing buildings that reflect their owners and the landscape. In 2013, the architect started a blog to celebrate the beautiful and often humble designs he encountered. The process for the posts was rather simple…

CLICK HERE to go to the recording of host Frank Stasio interviewing Frank on “The State of Things.”