So & So Books To Host An Afternoon with Frank Harmon – a book signing event for ‘Native Places: Drawing as Way of Seeing”

Blueplate PR client: Frank Harmon, FAIA, author
FH_sm_by William MorganFRANK HARMON, FAIA (Photo by William Morgan)

 So & So Books, an independent bookstore in downtown Raleigh’s trendy Person Street commercial district, will host a book-signing event for architect/author Frank Harmon, FAIA, and his new book Native Places: Drawing as a Way to See on Saturday, December 1.

Beginning at 5 p.m., Harmon will discuss 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 So & So Books.

Frank Harmon book

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. The sketches convey the delight he finds in ordinary places. The short essays, inspired by the sketches, offer his fresh interpretations of what most 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.

Bookstore + design studio

So & So Books shares space with in situ studio. One of the studio’s founders, Erin Sterling Lewis, AIA, will introduce the author at the event. Sterling Lewis worked with Harmon in his multi-award-winning architecture firm for several years before he retired. She considers him her “greatest mentor,” she said recently, and “remains grateful every day for the opportunities he afforded me during my time at Frank Harmon Architect.”

Praise for Native Places

In her review of Native Places: Drawing as a Way to See,, author and entomologist Eleanor Spicer Rice, PhD., wrote, “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 a letter to Harmon, Fred Chappell, former North Carolina Poet Laureate, offered, “Native Places…has afforded me happy pleasures, different from any that I have before derived from a book.”

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

So & So Books is located at 704 North Person Street, Raleigh 27604 (919-426-9502). For more information, visit the store’s Facebook page.

For more details on Frank Harmon and Native Places: Drawing as a Way to See, visit the book’s website:

Book Release Party To Celebrate “Drawing From Practice”

Cover Art, "Drawing From Practice," by J. Michael Welton
Cover Art, “Drawing From Practice,” by J. Michael Welton

The event will honor local author Mike Welton and architects who draw by hand.

Frank Harmon, FAIA, will be one of six North Carolina architects honored at Activate14’s Book Release Party to celebrate the publication of the new book Drawing From Practice: Architects and the Meaning of Freehand by J. Michael Welton. The party will take place on Tuesday, May 19, from 6-8 p.m. at the AIA NC Center for Architecture and Design, 14 East Peace Street, in downtown Raleigh.

A Triangle resident, Mike Welton writes about architecture, art, and design for national and international publications, and edits and publishes the digital design magazine Architects + Artisans.

Published by Routledge Press, Drawing from Practice explores and illuminates the ways architects use freehand drawing by featuring drawings and architecture from every generation practicing today, including six North Carolina architects: Frank Harmon, Phil Freelon, Ellen Cassilly, Chad Everhart, Matt Griffith, and Erin Sterling Lewis.

These architects will participate in a panel discussion during the party. Afterwards, they will also be on hand, along with the author, to sign a limited number of books for sale that evening while guests enjoy food and beverages.

Frank Harmon is an architect, educator, and author of the website “Native Places.” As founding principal of the award-winning firm Frank Harmon Architect PA, he has designed modern, sustainable, and regionally appropriate buildings across the Southeast for 30 years, always using hand-drawn sketches. He recently commented on Drawing from Practice:

“Mike’s book is long awaited and warmly received by all those who believe in the value of sketching as a means to explore architectural ideas.”

Activate14 is an AIA North Carolina community outreach initiative headquartered at the Center for Architecture and Design, also featured in the book.

The Book Release Party is free and open to the public, but attendees must first RSVP at (Architects in attendance are eligible for LU credit.)

For directions to the AIA NC Center for Architecture & Design, go to

Click here for more information on Drawing from PracticeArchitects and the Meaning of Freehand.

About Frank Harmon Architect PA:

Founded in 1981, Frank Harmon Architect PA is a design studio of architects, designers, and makers whose work engages pressing contemporary needs, such as sustainability, placelessness, and the restoration of cities and nature. For more information:

Canadian Caricature Artist Wins Cary Author’s Illustration Contest

The winning illustration will be published in Cris Cohen’s upcoming

The winning illustration by Daryl Stephenson.


May 15, 2011 (Cary, NC) – Cris Cohen of Cary, NC, the author of the upcoming humor book “Staying Crazy To Keep From Going Insane,” has announced the winner of an illustration contest he recently conducted on the book’s website at

The winner is Daryl Stephenson, an up-and-coming caricature artist in Maple Ridge, British Columbia (30 miles east of Vancouver), who discovered the contest online. He told Cohen that he “recently gave up my job as a supervisor in a warehouse — with my wife’s permission — to become an artist. I’ve always wanted to be a full-time cartoonist.”

Cohen’s book is due out this fall with proceeds from sales going to a local baseball league for kids with special needs, including Cohen’s own son, nine-year-old Max. It will be a collection of humor columns he wrote for several newspapers when he lived in California, plus new ones he’s written since he and his family moved to Cary, NC, in 2008.

Stephenson's illlustration will be published in Cris Cohen's book.Cary in 2008.

Cohen, who also writes the humor blog “Nothing In Particular” and a humor column for, invited artists and wanna-be artists to illustrate a particular column that will be in the book entitled “Charming.” In the column, Cohen makes fun of an experience he had at a not-so-charming hotel, which was, nonetheless, advertised as “charming.” The winning illustration will be published in the book alongside the column.

“I also look after special needs kids,” Stephenson noted after learning he’d won. “Have been doing so for the past eight years. It’s tough but rewarding work. I was happy to see where your proceeds are going.”

Cohen quipped: “We hope that Daryl wears this distinction as a badge of honor or, at least, a badge of mild pleasure.”

For more information on Cris Cohen and “Staying Crazy To Keep From Going Insane, visit

For more information on the winning illustrator, visit

Humor author Cris Cohen

About Cris Cohen:

Cris Cohen, the author of the Nothing In Particular blog and a new humor column for, was born in Buffalo, NY, and grew up in a suburb of Los Angeles, eventually graduating from the University of Southern California. After a stint in rock radio in Los Angeles and Santa Barbara, Cris started writing his humor column for a collection of California newspapers. He eventually gravitated toward the tech world and Silicon Valley, working for companies such as Netscape and Cisco Systems. Cris, his wife Michele, and their young son Max moved to Cary, North Carolina, in 2008. Cris’ blog is available at His first book, “Staying Crazy To Keep From Going Insane,” is due out in the fall of 2011 (