The Branch Museum of Architecture & Design Hosts Lecture, Sketching Workshop with Celebrated Architect Frank Harmon

 The ‘Native Places’ author will be in Richmond Nov. 21 – 23.

FH hi-res by f8 Photo Studio FRANK HARMON, FAIA (photo by f8 Photo Studios)

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November 13, 2019 (Richmond, VA) – Frank Harmon wants to transform the way we see and enjoy the world around us. That’s why the multi-award-winning architect from Raleigh, NC, wrote Native Places: Drawing as a Way to See. That’s also why he’ll be in Richmond this month.

On Thursday, November 21, The Branch Museum of Architecture & Design will host a lecture and book-signing event with Harmon from 5:30-7:30 pm. Then on Saturday, November 23, Harmon will lead an Urban Sketching Workshop around the Museum’s vicinity on Monument Avenue from 10 am-1 pm. Both events are open to the public.

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Native Places: Drawing as a Way to See is a collection of 64 of Harmon’s watercolor sketches – of buildings, landscapes and cityscapes, everyday objects and ordinary places — paired with 200-word essays. The pairs first appeared in his popular online journal NativePlaces.org. The sketches, some over 30 years old, convey the delight he finds in each subject. The brief essays offer his fresh perspectives on topics inspired by those sketches, especially places and things that we take for granted.

For Frank Harmon, sketching has always been an element of his education and his practice. He has made sketches “as a way to see” since his university days at the Architectural Association in London. Since then, he has kept a sketch pad, pens, and a pocket-sized water-color set in a small bag wherever he’s gone, from fields along rural highways where he spots old barns and sheds to urban centers and lush gardens throughout Europe.

“Usually I sketch something I’m curious about,” he notes.

As an architect and a professor of architecture at North Carolina State University’s College of Design, Harmon has conducted Urban Sketching Workshops for the American Institute of Architect’s National Conventions; for various AIA chapters and sections across the nation; and at Auburn University’s renowned Rural Studio in Hale County, Alabama. He began combining sketching workshops with book-signing events soon after ORO Editions published Native Places: Drawing as a Way to See.

In his workshops, Harmon helps participants learn to look more closely at the particulars of a place and the nuances of objects, then express both through sketching.

Ticket options for Frank Harmon’s lecture and Urban Sketching Workshop are available at branchmuseum.org. Click on “events.”

For more information on Native Places: Drawing as a Way to See, visit nativeplacesthebook.com and follow the book on Facebook.

The Branch Museum of Architecture & Design is located in the historic 1919 Branch House at 2501 Monument Ave., Richmond, VA 23220 (804-655-6055).

AIA Austin Welcomes Architect/Author Frank Harmon, FAIA, and His New Book “Native Places: Drawing as a Way to See”

Frank Harmon, Native Places
Frank Harmon, FAIA. (photo by William Morgan)

Frank Harmon, FAIA, (right) 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 Harmon book

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.

 

Cameron Art Museum in Wilmington Presents ‘Native Places’ Illustrated Lecture and Sketching Workshop

Native Places by Frank Harmon
Cameron Art Museum

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.

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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.

Then on Saturday, October 26th, the author will lead an Urban Sketching Workshop in downtown Wilmington. Through the workshop, he 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.

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Frank Harmon sketching. Photo by Christine Simeloff

About Frank Harmon, FAIA

A Greensboro native and Raleigh resident, Frank Harmon has designed sustainable modern buildings across the Southeast for 30 years that are specific to their sites and use materials, such as hurricane-felled cypress and rock from local quarries, to connect them to their landscapes. Airy breezeways, outdoor living spaces, deep overhangs, and wide lawns embody the vernacular legacy of the South while maintaining a distinguished modernism. To see examples of his work, visit frankharmon.com.

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.

 

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

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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.

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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.”H

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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.

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

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 bookstore.

Frank Harmon bookDelight 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, 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, 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.”

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.

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

Frank Harmon 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.

Frank Harmon by William Morgan

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, 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.

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Production Details
Designer: AnLe Bahn
Editor: Charles Linn, FAIA
Publisher: ORO Editions
Binding: Hardbound with Dust Jacket
ISBN: 978-1-940743-45-5
Pages: 168pp published in four colors
Publication Date: October 1, 2018
Size: 7″ x 9″ Landscape
Retail Price: $24.95

TIMES OF SICILY reviews ‘Sicily: Land of Love & Strife’ – A Filmmaker’s Journey’ by Mark Spano

Book Cover Art

Blueplate PR client: Mark Spano, filmmaker

By Andrew and Suzanne Edwards

Mark’s story starts in the streets of Kansas City in a neighbourhood populated by immigrant Sicilians and Neapolitans. He was born to a father of Sicilian origin and a mother whose family came from Puglia. Despite the criminality he witnessed in his hometown, Mark’s family guided him down a path that avoided the temptations of easy money, fighting the facile stereotyping faced by many families whose relatives hailed from southern Italy. He admits that he can’t quite pin-down his feeling of being Sicilian. Despite a lifetime of reading about the island, his first visit was delayed until he was sixty, but it was a visit that would have him yearning for Trinacria whenever he put pen to paper or film to camera. The truth of this is to be found within us all; we are all immigrants from somewhere, however far removed, and to deny that is part of the problem we face as humans in the complex global world of the twenty-first century. Mark has chosen to embrace his family’s past and discover more.  READ MORE

The Path from Concept to Critically Acclaimed Documentary

Blueplate PR client: Mark Spano, filmmaker, author

Thunderfoot Press Releases Sicily: Land of Love and Strife – A Filmmaker’s Journey by Mark Spano

Book Cover ArtA year ago, after four years of multiple trips to Sicily for research, interviews, impressions, writing, re-writing, and, finally, filmmaking, writer/director/producer Mark Spano began introducing his feature-length documentary “Sicily: Land of Love & Strife” to audiences in the U.S. and Canada, often selling out the venues that host these special screenings.

Now Thunderfoot Press has released the companion book Sicily: Land of Love and Strife – A Filmmaker’s Journey, by Mark Spano. The 130-page book reveals the process by which Spano was able to capture on film the island nation’s natural beauty, its passionate people and epic human struggles, the depth and diversity of its culture, the philosophic insights that originated there, and its wealth of historic sites. “All of the facets of Sicily that have been obscured by its association with organized crime,” he says.

A first-generation Sicilian-American, Spano invites readers to follow him on his quest to celebrate the real Sicily and, therefore, change public perception of his family’s homeland.

In her Foreward to the book, Karen La Rosa of La RosaWorks Sicily Tours & Travel, writes of Spano’s journey: “A writer/filmmaker is always asking questions and his documentary, ‘’Sicily: Land of Love & Strife’ is the answer to some of his… To his own eye, a broader picture of Sicily’s history, its complicated issues, and unique evolution, presented itself.” The companion book “enables a better understanding of his journey,” she notes, “both as a child in a Sicilian neighborhood in Kansas City and as an adult walking the narrow lanes of the Vucciria in Palermo.“

She concludes: “Mark has generously shared a very personal and unique view of Sicily in the direction of his terrific documentary. This intriguing companion book, which peeks inside its author, will bring you along on his continuing Sicilian odyssey —  his quest to understand and describe this fascinating Italian island.”

Sicily: Land of Love and Strife – A Filmmaker’s Journey is available on Amazon.

For more information on the film, including places and dates of future screenings, visit markspano.wordpress.com and follow it on Facebook.

Production details

Paperback: 130 pages
Publisher: Thunderfoot Press;
Publication Date: First edition, September 18, 2018
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0997602716
ISBN-13: 978-0997602715
Dimensions: 5 x 0.3 x 8 inches
Shipping Weight: 7 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
Retail price: $14.95

Scuppernong Books Hosts Frank McNair, Author of “Life on the Line: Football, Rage, and Redemption”

Life-on-the-LineWinston-Salem-based author Frank McNair will appear at Scuppernong Books in Greensboro on Saturday, October 28, at 3 p.m. for a book signing to promote his new award-winning football novel Life on the Line: Football, Rage, and Redemption (featured in Yes!Weekly June 29, 2017)      

Published by Bagpiper Press, the novel was named Best Book in the Young Adult category during the Spring 2017 Pinnacle Book Achievement Awards.

Frank McNair is a veteran author of business-oriented books but this is his first work of fiction.

The book revolves around two boys on the same middle school football team who despise each other as soon as they meet on the practice field. Their animosity simmers throughout the season until it finally boils over in a “dramatic confrontation” that Forsyth Family Magazine’s Vonda Henderson describes as “swift, surprising, and rattles and shocks them and those around them.” She adds: “The outcome illustrates well that stage between boy and man.”

As a former football player himself, McNair offers his readers authentic, play-by-play gridiron action. Yet Life on the Line is about much more than football

“I thought football was a good petri dish in which to tell a story about adolescence and coming of age,” McNair told the Winston-Salem Journal recently. “My book is a good yarn about two young men living regular lives in a small Southern town. The story looks like it’s about is. But it’s also about boys trying to figure out what it means to be authentically male. It is about class differences, religion, grief, and coming of age. And  ultimately it is about rage, reconciliation, and redemption.”

Intended for middle- and high-school readers, Life on the Line: Football, Rage, and Redemptionis receiving a steady stream of positive reviews among Amazon Customer Reviews from parents of teenagers. One wrote, “Outstanding! Don’t let your sons (or daughters) miss this gripping story of boys growing up in the world of football.” The mom of now-grown boys said, “I wish Frank had written the book 10 years earlier when my son and his friends were this age.”

After reading selections from the book, McNair will take questions and sign copies that will be available for purchase.

Scuppernong Books is located at 304 South Elm Street, Greensboro, NC 27401.  For more information and directions: www.scuppernongbooks.com.

For more information on Frank McNair and Life on the Line: Football, Rage, and Redemption, including sample chapters, visit www.lifeonethelinebook.com.

Pamlico Writers Group Welcomes Frank McNair for Workshop, Book Signing

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The author of the award-winning new novel Life on the Line: Football, Rage, and Redemption will join the group on October 24th

The Pamlico Writers’ Group in Washington, NC, will welcome author Frank McNair of Winston-Salem and Bath, NC, as Featured Author on Tuesday, October 24, from 7 to 9 p.m.  McNair will read from his new, award-winning novel Life on the Line: Football, Rage, and Redemption, sign copies of the book, and conduct a mini-workshop on “Plotting and Keeping Up with Characters.”

Open to the public, the event will be held at historic Turnage Theater, 150 West Main Street, Washington, NC. 27889.

Set in the rural South in 1965, Life on the Line is the story of two middle school boys struggling to understand themselves and the world around them as they meet on the football field and immediately despise each other.

A former football player himself, McNair draws his readers into play-by-play action during grueling practices and often violent, bloody games as the boys lead their team towards an undefeated season — despite the tension and animosity that escalates between them.

LOTL Section

McNair’s novel is built around football, but it also contains themes of family and faith, love and loss, and how all of that leads the boys to hard-won reconciliation. Earlier this year, it was named “Best Book” in the Young Adult category for the Spring 2017 Pinnacle Book Achievement Awards.”

Frank McNair grew up in Laurinburg, NC, where he was a member of the Scotland County High School “Fighting Scots” football team. A graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a Morehead Scholar, he received his MBA degree from Wake Forest University. He has published successful non-fiction business books but Life on the Line is his first venture into fiction. He is currently working on a second novel, this one exploring the life of Christian faith, entitled A Creeping Certainty.

McNair and his wife Laura are active members of their church community, where they teach and contribute in other ways. They live with their beloved lab, Buddy Brown, in a house overlooking the woods in Winston-Salem when they’re not in residence at their coastal home in Bath overlooking the Pamlico River.

The Pamlico Writers Group is affiliated with the Arts of the Pamlico and meets twice a month. Its mission is “to help other aspiring writers accomplish their goals in writing.” For more information on the October 24th book signing and workshop: https://pamlicowritersgroup.wildapricot.org/event-2671367.

For more information on Life on the Line: Football, Rage, and Redemption, go to www.lifeonthelinebook.com.