I'm a fan of taking the long way home, getting off the beaten path, and wasting time driving around the once-booming industrial communities of our current home, Knoxville. You can tell alot about a city if you're really looking. The old neighborhood bar, the used tire lots and new coffee shops. At the same time, knowing your neighborhood means knowing your neighbors. The history of a city is found in its many voices. I found all of this out when I moved into the heart of my hometown, Dallas, in 2010. I found myself walking and riding my bike around town, making my way through side streets and small neighborhoods. A short errand would turn into an hour of exploring. After living there 22 years, I was finally captivated by the city I thought I knew so well.
One afternoon, a friend and I sat down to map out a small neighborhood in South Dallas. Six months later, I had an accurate map of the city. Becca and I bought some paper and printed the maps by hand. We made it for our friends who loved the city as much as we did. Now, our goal is to treat every new map like our hometown. We want the old and new native to speak of their city with pride. These maps are a jumping off point, a way for you to get lost in your own town, to dig in and reconnect. All too often, maps generalize a city. We didn’t want to leave any neighborhood out. Neighborhoods are personal. We wanted to create an elegant, research-driven, hand-printed map not only for the local, but for the native.
DAVID HARMAN is the owner and founder of Native Maps. He recently graduated from the University of Tennessee with an MFA in painting. The project began as a healthy distraction from studio work, almost a dare to see how well he knew his home town. He now handles the printing, research, and design for Native Maps.
REBECCA HARMAN is the other half of Native Maps. She is currently working on a masters in Soil Science from the University of Tennessee and studying the use of hand planters for smallholder farms. A mother extraordinaire and constant positive voice in the studio, she keeps things running smoothly and steps in to help with the print runs.
David and Becca live and work out of their home and studio in Knoxville, Tennessee, with their daughter Augusta.