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Frank sketching

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).