Navigation Bar

About Harry

Autobiographical Information
Forward to Resume

I was born in Wichita, Kansas. I lived in Missouri, New Jersey, and North Carolina growing up. As a child I always enjoyed taking things apart and putting things together. My mother tells me that I took my pacifiers apart. On a driving trip once she bought a pacifier guaranteed to be indestructible. Five minutes down the road I had taken it apart. Maybe I already had a three-dimensional/mechanical fascination (then again, maybe the pacifier was just poorly engineered). When I got old enough to use a hammer and a saw I built countless go-carts, tree-forts, and explosive devices. Through school I enjoyed art projects, but I never took them particularly seriously. In eighth grade I got a "D" in art one quarter. In ninth grade I received an award for being the "Best Ninth Grade Artist" (same teacher). I built a kayak in my basement. It looked pretty good, but it was too short, so it rode very low in the water and sank a lot. In twelfth grade I did not take art because the teacher was too negative to the students who weren't doing well and it didn't feel good to be in her classroom.

I found literature to be very powerful during my high school years and I did quite a bit of writing. Writing was really my first art form. Most of my writing was journal-writing and was intended only to help me figure out how to cope with the world, but I also wrote poetry. I was on the staff of my high school literary magazine. In twelfth grade I remember getting very involved in writing a sonnet dealing with the implications of B.F. Skinner's writings on Behaviorism (not your typical sonnet). I worked on the sonnet sporadically for months, often getting up in the middle of the night to write a new line or two. I was consumed by the challenge of expressing those particular ideas in that particular form. I was a little bit tormented by it, but ultimately I found it fulfilling to be compelled to create something.

I grew up in the time when "environmentalism" became a word. I remember learning about pollution in fourth grade. By high school my concern was very deep and I felt a lot of personal responsibility for my impact on the earth. I wore used clothing, made my own shoes, avoided using cars, and more. I was rather depressed about the state of the world and felt compelled to do something about it. My vision of my life ahead involved living in the middle of nowhere, growing all of my own food, sewing my own clothes, and making my own house. I felt like I ought to become a lobbyist for Friends of the Earth or The Sierra Club and I felt guilty for knowing that I didn't want to. My notions for "saving the world" all seemed to revolve around making things.

I started making musical instruments in my first year out of high school. They weren't very good, but they were probably my first attempt at making something to a professional standard. I was in and out of college for a few years. In many ways I loved being a student, but I struggled with the constant time pressure. It seemed that there was always some aspect of a course which I was fascinated by, but which I didn't have time to explore because I had to do a lot of other non-fascinating things before the deadline. I was a slow reader. My mind always seemed to wander. Quite often the distraction was a three-dimensional design problem. I designed a backpack frame with pivoting hip supports, non-slipping cross-county skis, a rowboat that could be rowed facing forward, etc. Or sometimes the reading material would suggest some scenario and my mind would start creating a story, and soon, I would find that I had been staring at the same page for five minutes adrift in a fantasy. Sometimes my eyes wandered from the pages and I would notice a pattern in the carpet or the woodwork and my eyes would begin following the pattern around the room or trying to discern different patterns within the dominant pattern. When I was really interested in the book I could read just fine. Of course everyone has their distractions, but in retrospect I wish I had paid a little more attention to my distractions and been a little less motivated by what I thought I SHOULD do. The places were one's mind wanders reveal a lot about one's passions and propensities.

A couple of years into college my fascination with instrument-making (woodwinds) became a lot bigger than my fascination with being a student. I had built a treadle lathe and used the lathe to make several dozen mediocre penny whistles and recorders (and a few good ones). I decided that I wanted to become an apprentice to a recorder maker, so I found a book of woodwind instrument-makers in the library and perused it (with very little distraction) to find recorder-makers. I then traveled around visiting seven of them and one offered me a job.

I moved from Bar Harbor, Maine to New York City. That move would have been absolutely inconceivable to me a few years earlier, but after living on a couple of farms in Maine, and tempering my pastoral visions with reality, I was eager to try it. For a year-and-a-half I assisted in the construction of Baroque bassoons, Renaissance recorders, and a few other woodwinds. I learned to work to a high degree of accuracy. I developed skills in shaping and fitting, machining, and silver-soldering. I thought that I might like to set-up my own workshop making recorders. I got tired of day after day of sanding and I needed a change.

I moved to New Haven, Connecticut and set up a workshop there and (without a clear sense of purpose) began making slit drums. I continued making slit drums (over 700) for quite a few years as my interest in sculpture emerged.

In 1983, I took a painting class at a community art center and REALLY liked it. I then took a metal sculpture class and really liked it too. In these classes I found that I had a strong inner drive to keep doing more. In the summer of 1984 I saw an ad in a local weekly paper requesting design submissions for a public art project for the train station in Stamford, Connecticut. I thought, "Well, I always look at public sculptures and think that I could do better; I guess that I should put my money where my mouth is." So I spent the next week designing and creating a couple of models. I became totally absorbed in the project and, at the end of the week (though I was not awarded the commission) it was clear that creating artwork was deeply satisfying to me and I needed to make it an ongoing part of my life.

In the ensuing years artwork has become a central part of my life. I have explored many different directions and numerous opportunities and honors have come my way. I hope to always continue exploring.

Back to Autobiographical Information



 (kinetic sculpture in progress); Alexandria, VA


River Whispers; Riverfront Park; Allegan, MI


Aspire; GE Aviation; Asheville, NC


Around the World; British International School of Charlotte; Charlotte, NC


Flourish; Rockville Senior Center; Rockville, MD

2012 Beacons; Florida Gulf Coast University; Fort Myers, FL
2011 Cormorant; Valdosta State University; Valdosta, GA
2011 A Flower for Giving; Lenoir Memorial Hospital; Kinston, NC
2010 Ghillie Dhu’s Enchantment; City Center Park; Gastonia, NC
2008 Deco Gecko; Pritchard Park; Asheville, NC
2007             Redbird; Fred Fletcher Park; Raleigh, NC
2005 Dancers; Florida State University;Tallahassee, FL
2005 Spires (purchase); Florida Atlantic University; Boca Raton, FL
2003 Fiddleheads; UNCA-Kellogg Center; Hendersonville, NC

Ghost Train; New River Trail State Park; Pulaski, VA

2001 Avian Muse; 30' long mobile; Robert Morgade Library; Stuart, FL
2000 Neptunian Frolic (purchase); Brevard County Health Department; Titusville, FL
1999 Eclipse; 55' long mobile; Moore Regional Hospital; Pinehurst, NC
1988 Agrisculpture; Agricultural History Farm Park; Derwood, MD


2017 Decatur Artway; Decatur, GA
2017 ML King District Sculpture Exhibition; Chattanooga, TN

Downtown Expressions; Stamford, CT


Outdoor Sculpture Competion; City of Ocala; Ocala, FL


Sculpture Walk; City of Kingsport; Kingsport, TN


Meadowlark Botanical Gardens; Vienna, Virginia


ArtInPlace; Charlottesville, VA


Suwanee SculpTour; City of Suwanee; Suwanee, GA


Discover What’s Outside; City of Salisbury; Salisbury, NC


Hillsborough Sculpture Tour 2011; Hillsborough Arts Council; Hillsborough, NC

2010 Juried Sculpture Park Exhibit; Craven Arts Council; New Bern, NC
2010 Sculpture Walk; City of Kingsport; Kingsport, TN
2010 Rosen Outdoor Sculpture Exhibition; Appalachian State University; Boone, NC
2010 Down East Sculpture Exhibition; Pitt County Arts Council; Greenville, NC
2006 RiverSculpture; French Broad River Park; Asheville, NC
2002 Outdoor Sculpture Exhibition; Henderson Co. Arts Council; Hendersonville, NC
2000 Red Spire, Orange Spire and Blue Spire; James Madison Univ.; Harrisonburg, VA
1999 Asteroids; Fine Arts Center of Kershaw County; Camden, SC
1999 Art in Public Places; Central Park; College Station, TX



Second Place; Sculpture Celebration; Caldwell Arts Council


Second Place; Salisbury Sculpture Show; Salisbury, NC


Merit Award; SculpTour; Suwanee, GA

2011 Best in Show; Discover What’s Outside; Salsibury, NC
2008 Liza Plaster Merit Award; Sculpture Celebration; Caldwell Arts Council
2008 Public Artist of the Year; City of Asheville; Asheville, NC
2002 Liza Plaster Merit Award; Sculpture Celebration; Caldwell Arts Council
1998  Honorable Mention; Combined Talents; Florida State Univ. Museum of Fine Arts
1998 Merit Award; Sculpture Celebration; Lenoir, NC
1997 Merit Award; Juried Regional Exhibition; Staunton-Augusta Art Center
1997 Honorable Mention; Art Calendar Crabbie Awards
1997 Award of Excellence; Roanoke Art Show; Art Museum of Western Virginia


1998 Visual Arts Fellowship; North Carolina Arts Council
1993 Alternate Visions Project Grant; Alternate Roots; Atlanta, GA
1993 Visual Arts Fellowship; North Carolina Arts Council
1992 Emerging Artists Grant; Community Arts Council; Buncombe County, NC


2011 Juror’s Exhibition; Community Arts Council; Kinston, NC
2009 Raw Identity; Fayetteville Museum of Art; Fayetteville, NC

American Artifacts & Figurative Works; Mitchell Comm. College, Statesville, NC

2002 Wood Sculptures; Arts Council of Wilson, Wilson, NC
2001 American Artifacts; District of Columbia Arts Center; Washington, DC
2000 Invitational Exhibition; Transylvania County Arts Council; Brevard, NC
1999 American Artifacts; Hand Workshop Art Center; Richmond, VA
1998 American Artifacts; University of South Carolina Spartanburg; Spartanburg, SC
1998 Souvenirs from My Visit to America; U of TN--Chattanooga; Chattanooga, TN
1997 Souvenirs from My Visit to America; Greensboro College; Greensboro, NC
1997 Souvenirs from My Visit to America; ACME Art Co.; Columbus, OH
1997 Figurative Works; Sinclair Community College; Dayton, OH
1996 Souvenirs from My Visit to America; Spirit Square; Charlotte, NC
1996 Images of the Human Spirit; Asheville Art Museum; Asheville, NC
1995 Souvenirs from My Visit to America; U.I.C.A.; Grand Rapids, MI
1993 Alien Eyes; 800 East; Atlanta, GA



Sculpture Celebration; T.H. Broyhill Walking Park; Lenoir, NC


Mountain Sculptors; Cape Fear Community College; Wilmington, NC


Sculpture Celebration; T.H. Broyhill Walking Park; Lenoir, NC


Mountain Sculptors; Upstairs Artspace; Tryon, NC


Alumni Exhibition; College of the Atlantic; Bar Harbor, ME


Art in the Airport; Asheville Regional Airport; Asheville, NC

2010 Sculpture Celebration; Broyhill Park; Lenoir, NC

29th Annual Competitive Exhibition; Community Council for the Arts; Kinston, NC

2009 Art in the Airport; Asheville Regional Airport; Asheville, NC
2009 Discover What’s Inside; EastSquare ArtWorks; Salisbury, NC
2008 Space Shifters; Upstairs Gallery; Tryon, NC
2008    Six Sculptors; EastSquare Artworks; Salisbury, NC
2006 Sculpture Celebration; Broyhill Park; Lenoir, NC
2003 Invitational Exhibition; Hammond Gallery; Arts Council of Wilson; Wilson, NC
2000 NCAC Fellowship Recipients; Weatherspoon Gallery; UNC-G; Greensboro, NC
2000 Trouble Shooting Gun Violence; Hodges Taylor Gallery; Charlotte, NC
1999 Sculpting the Human Figure; The Upstairs Gallery; Tryon, NC
1998 The Florida National; FSU Museum of Fine Arts; Tallahassee, FL
1997 Visual/Verbal; Hickory Museum of Art; Hickory, NC
1997 Roanoke City Art Show; Art Museum of Western Virginia; Roanoke, VA


2000 Three mobiles purchased for X-Files set; episode: All Things; aired 4/9/00


4/13/11 E. Wiltgen; “Anhinga” Graces the Lawn of Burwell School; News of Orange Co.
3/13/09 A. Solano; Who Are We?; The Fayetteville Observer

K. Priestley; “Redbirds and Geckos”; North Carolina Signature

5/05 “Public Works”; The Laurel of Asheville
4/01 "Art in Unfamiliar Places--Neptunian Frolic"; Florida History & the Arts
7/27/98 "Art Outdoors"; Chronicle-Independent (Camden, SC)
2/15/98 A. Nichols; "Souvenirs from My Visit to America"; Chattanooga Free Press
10/26/97 T. Patterson; "Souvenirs: Artist looks at current artifacts"; Winston-Salem Journal
3/16/97 M. Clement; "Awe inspiring"; Fayetteville Observer-Times
10/23/94 D. Gold; "Artists’ wit puts glow on a grim subtheme"; Maine Telegram
2/12/92 L. Millegan; "Exhibition features environmental focus"; Oregon Daily Emerald
7/90 M. Oberlaender; "Tri-State Sculptors Exhibition"; Art Papers
10/4/87 C. Battista; "Artists craft worldly sounds"; New York Times
10/86 S. Wadsworth; "Connecticut Circumscribed"; Art New England


1980-81 College of the Atlantic; Bar Harbor, ME; Human Ecology
1979 Warren Wilson College; Swannanoa, NC; Ecology


2000 Computer-Aided Design for Sculptors; Tri State Sculptors Conference; Brevard, NC
1999 Panelist; Cultural Iconography; Hand Workshop Art Center; Richmond, VA


1988--pres. International Sculpture Center member
1990--pres. Tri State Sculptors member
1998--2003 Webmaster for <www.TriStateSculptors.org>


1989 Guatemala; Three months studying Spanish and traveling
1985 Zaire; Two months living in rural village and studying Kikongo

Back to Top of Page

All images included in this site are protected by copyright. Unauthorized use is prohibited.

Comments about this website: webmaster@HarryMcDaniel.com

Navigation Bar