Archive for November, 2011

WV Architect Daniel Lucas Hart

Excerpts from the Biography of Architect Dan Hart “Wild At Hart”

From the article ‘The Complete Spaghetti’ – “Chapter 3. Using a fork: The most famous utensil for spaghetti is the fork. Then again some people become (in)famous for not using utensils. The famous Architect, Dan Hart, simply applies his face to the plate and his mouth acts like a vacuum.”

“I can say things faster than you can write them.”


“Life is like cooking. I came out over-cooked.” – Dan Hart

Dan Hart was born February 18, 1950.

Richard Trapnell Hart 1953 (brother)

Virginia Tucker Hart 1959 (sister)

Mother – Anne White Trapnell Hart (1923-1994)

Father – James Austin Hart III (1924-1988)

Parents were married in “Dead Poets Society” Town Chapel

“In West Virginia if you wanted to go outside, you had to be ready to fight.”

“I have been hooked on red-heads since I was 3 years old.”

Wilmington Delaware – 4 different places

Collins Park Kindergarten, he beat up biggest kid on bus, so no one messed with him afterwards

Blacks in schools by then. He was left handed since kindergarten.

Charles B. Lore / railroad bridge walk to school everyday (dangerous) / rough roads & people

Snowball fight, baseball, crackerjack prize riddle “Why are fire-engines red?”

3rd Grade he beat up his teacher.

Mom – “Oh Dan.”

Dad – “Son, the police are here to see you again.”

4th Grade – Tower Hill – Athletic Scholarship

Bicycle transportation until 24 years old in college

Art Teacher let him make a black elephant which started his collection

Dressed as a Pencil for Halloween Party, dad made with old inner-tube, showed up with box cutter to cut holes and got in trouble for having a blade, fell down stairs, won miscellaneous costume prize, award was a lollipop

3-Musketeers chocolate bars + Coke = head explodes!!!


College Years


Had so many plants around his studio desk, it was like he was hiding in a jungle.

“Get one of each grade, that way you will be well-rounded”

Pilot = airplanes


Professional Architect  (with a License to Build)

Stowell-Hart Architects (former partners with Kip Stowell)

Architect, Planner, and Interior Designer





Projects Listed to Date:



(page under construction)


Harpers Ferry Films

The following movie videos were made by Walton Stowell and friends (originally DTTE Corp.) in and around Harpers Ferry from 1989 onward….







PVHF Full Film  (2007 ttr version)


The ODD FELLOWS LODGE on Filmore Street (IOOF 1st VA)


HARPERS FERRY HOUSES – based on Stowell Architect’s book








“Walton / Drogo Interviews” by BackCreekDaddy Films of Hedgesville, WV


Comedy Commercials:  Art Shell’s Boxers, Football Phone, Footbabble, Pepto Commercial, Tampon Ad, Encyclopedia World Book, ….


Dream Sequences


We made many more videos back in the day, just can’t list them all here yet! Will try to add more later….

Art Education 412

Mr. Sutton

April 10, 1968

Assumption 1

ART is difficult to define. Everybody has a different answer to this question. Art will always have an individual and unique meaning to every person. But at the same time, there is something basic which should be a common denominator for all of us. This paper basically says what I believe to be the nature of art at this period of my studies.

Assumption 2

ART is done only by human beings. In the first place, we term art from nature or natural instinct, and in the second place, from a human being exercising the distinctive traits of the human mind. It can be said that art is nature made human, or nature re-made by the human mind.

Assumption 3

ART is a meaningful arrangement of symbols, ideas, and the forces in visual elements. An aesthetic response is made to a work of art. Also art is a creative production by humans using materials and tool processes.


When something has ‘Meaning’ it ‘matters’ and fulfills an aim or purpose. A meaningful arrangement is an arrangement having importance or significance to the human. Anything he or she relates to their past, or with their senses is meaningful.  (see Visual A)

A work of art is an arrangement of symbols or units that express an idea, mood or image. This means that the artist’s problem is (1) to create units or symbols that represent ideas or feelings, and (2) to organize these units into a form that is vital, and complete in its sum total.  (see Visual B)

Every work of art must be dealt with as a single unified whole. Any part distinguished within it must be understood as a component which actually affects, and is affected by, all the others. But there is no harm in analyzing a work of art by stressing first one component, and then another. This is what teachers and critics must do if they are to communicate to others the nature of specific works of art.

Henri Matisse has been quoted: “The work of ART has its own absolute significance implicit within itself and should convey this directly to the beholder before he stops to wonder what the picture represents.”  Art should be appreciated as a single whole before there is an attempt to understand its themes, developments, details, and various foci which make it possible for it to refer specific things.  (see Visual C for some examples of visual forces and guiding principles seen in parts of art works)

When one responds emotionally to the whole object, this is an aesthetic response. One can respond emotionally to Visual D (see Visual D). An aesthetic judgment is made between two or more objects. (see Visual E) When one starts to analyze the parts of an object, and wonder why they responded aesthetically, this is called a cognitive qualitative discriminative response.

We all have aesthetic experiences. Few of us have aesthetic experiences as subtle, variegated, or as complex as certain individuals have for certain pieces. The answer is because most of us are too practical with aesthetic blinders on. We are too immersed in the affairs of the mundane world to be willing to spend much time in savoring fully what is available to us all. Were we willing to open ourselves fully to aesthetic experiences, we would have excitements, pleasures, and revelations we never imagined possible.

For example, while walking in the woods, instead of looking at the trees and such, notice the empty spaces in between the trees where the sky shows through. Think of the power of the empty space or spaces. Let your feelings go to the ‘negative space’ which actually allows light and air through the trees.

Another example of being willing to open ourselves to art: you are beside a pond or down-town. Then try to use one sense at a time. Try only using your nose, then your ears, or touch something without looking at it, and then you will become aware of new and different feelings you have tucked away. We can have aesthetic experiences of silence and emptiness; of the monotonous and repetitive. Besides works of art, we also respond to objects , substances, or occurrences.

An aesthetic experience is ours when and while we are conscious. At different moments, it has different qualities, stresses, and significance. If we wish to enrich our experience of art, we must perhaps not remain on the surface of things; and make ourselves more attentive, more receptive than we had been.

When we look at a work of art such as a painting, we want to respond to it as fully and completely as possible. In order to do so, we begin by being careful to regard the work as a link between our minds and the creator’s mind. We can find value in our own responses to it, which is not inherently in the object itself. When we say that there is beauty in a picture, what we really mean is, that the particular arrangement of colors and forms causes a state of mind in us, which is good. So in essence appreciation of art is the point of art, and we are describing our own feelings (not the painting) when we talk about any work of art.

When we use the word ‘Beauty’, we think we are talking about something outside ourselves, when we are really talking about something inside (although it tends to be a covert subconscious behavior). Because of our customary way of looking at things, this fact is difficult for some people to grasp. These people should ask themselves where precisely this mysterious quality of beauty is located. In the paint? Inside a piano? In the air? In a block of marble?

We must remember beauty is not art, although there is beauty in art. Art is more than just beauty. In some sense the ugly is a variety of beauty; for tragedy, gargoyles, gruesome poetry, stark painting, and dissonant music serve as examples of art, and can even have positive worth.

Further Assumptions

The quality of an art piece depends on the ability of its creator to express their thoughts and emotions with completeness or individuality. Good habits of work, skills, and desirable techniques may be developed by the various problems in construction and handiwork. Creative ability, invention, innovation, initiative, originality, systematic organization of projects, and the ability to do constructive thinking, planning, and creating all have definite application in everyday life. School activities help a student make adjustments in everyday life, and quality is developed through practice; just as may be done through apprenticeship in the workforce.

Copying or imitating is to transfer the object or view from one place to another. There is less room for creative installation of personal symbols, ideas, or innovation. Copying is less an art, than a craft or even industrial replication. There is an ‘art’ to crafting things, but the two terms can be separated to discuss original invention vs replication techniques. A craft is a skilled hand-made-work or proficiency, as opposed to copying something by using industrial machines.

Children derive intense satisfaction from their art when using their own personal images and subject matter. When a child is working from nature, there is a danger of developing habits of thoughtless and instinctual imitation. While studying nature, one may learn so many scientific details about the subject that emotional and artistic freedoms can be hampered or stifled (see Visual G). Art also contributes largely to the growth of a child’s feelings and faculties, developing creative instinct or potentials into abilities, liberties, responsibility, self-confidence, and self-respect. Finally the part which art plays in the community life of a school has some interesting features: experience in visual art does stimulate children to grow towards a full adult life due to the enhanced attributes already listed. Art develops aspects of personalities and awareness in members of a community for life. The cultural aspects of a community and its effect on a human being will be discussed in the second part of this paper.

In art education, I feel the quality and value of an activity must be considered in relation to life in a community, as well as in relation to the development of the individual. The old idea of teaching art without direct reference to the pupil’s life activities is out of style (or not valid). Teaching art now connects the lessons with the personal and environmental experience of the pupil. Today educators are correlating art with all our subjects in the school.

Another controversial concept of art which everyone thinks they understand is termed DESIGN. Educators and parents are always questioning what is ‘good’ and ‘bad’ design. In my mind designing is an intellectual process, self-conscious and self-critical at all times. It is very hard for students to define design and art. I think design and art are involved with each other very closely. At this point in college, I am not sure how. I myself feel the definition of design is to plan and make with skill. As a noun ‘design’ is defined as, “the arrangement and coordination of the parts or details of any object, by means of which the whole achieves a certain effect or impression, or produces a result”.

Why does an artist study design? An artist studies design for many reasons. Some of the reasons I study design are to stimulate my imagination and arouse latent ideas, develop original thought, and to strengthen judgement. We also acquire the power to express ourselves through the terms and materials employed in a way that shall be clear and coherent. I feel my concept of design is still changing. The concept I have stated has been formed through readings and design courses at FSU.


When a person learns to be creative, they face entire problems and then use divergent thinking to solve the whole task. They should not be afraid to take a risk in problem solving. Be flexible and fluent in your environment. Creativity develops in different degrees. Creativity can be found in all walks of life and professions as science, business, music, writing, dancing, as well as art.

The artist and scientist are both interested in exploring, speculating, and creating new ideas. When it comes to the final product, they differ. The scientist does not make aesthetic judgments, or care about the emotional effects of their inventions, as the artist does. Not all man-made objects are art. (see Visual F)

The ARTS are fascinating. A few similarities and differences are mentioned here. Architecture, sculpture, and painting are arts which create space. Musical composition, stories, and poetry create a texture and meaning for existing time. Theatre, dance, and musical performances present the action of becoming creative. Each of these three groups have units. The units of the spacial arts have primary reference to the size of humans, that of the temporal arts to the span of human attention, and the dynamic arts to human pulse. Each of the group has its own kind of ‘negative space’.

The first Art takes account of empty spaces, the second of unaccented beats and the third of rest. They demand the use of different human senses. All arts produce something worth experiencing. Also everyone of these arts can have a relaxed form. Painting relaxes into ‘doodling’, sculpture into ‘decoration’, architecture into ‘engineering’, poetry relaxes into ‘metrics’, dance into ‘gesture’, theatre into ‘conversation’, and music into ‘melody’.

In summarizing my concept of art at this point in my life, I feel that the artist’s work must be a direct expression of nature of imagination as experienced by humans. Art is a creative process using forces in visual elements and using materials and tool processes. A work of art is organized to create a unified whole. Art has the substantial qualities discussed in this paper, and above all it is creative. Therefore copying a picture is not art, because copying is not creative. One responds aesthetically to art pieces and to the arts. An individual should be willing to respond to aesthetic experiences all about them. An average person has the potential to develop degrees of artistic ability.



George Lansing Raymond, LHD, Art In Theory  (NY: GP Putman 1909, p3-186)

Paul Weiss, Nine Basic Arts (Illinois, SIU Press 1961, p6)

Standard College Dictionary  (Harcourt, Brace and World, p163)

Henry Rasmusen, Art Structure (NY McGraw-Hill, 1950, p59)


Visual A

Visual B – “Bird in Space” by Brancusi represents the soaring bird or human spirit, symbolized and suggested through form. It is seen as a unified whole at once.

Visual C

Visual D – One can respond emotionally to the image of ships; relaxed, tense, excited, numb etc. How does it make you feel? The feeling is an aesthetic emotional experience. Then you can start to analyze why you felt the way you did. I like cloudy skies and ships. The water is calm because you cannot see a ripple anywhere… tranquil.

Visual E – Aesthetic judgments are made between two or more objects. First painting is more soothing than the second, but the judgments are personal.

Visual F – Although an object can be man-made, it does not have to be art. These are manufactured products but not art.

(Note: Remember that this report was written by Nena in 1968, and her views and ideas about art evolved more during the decades afterwards; and the Art World itself continues to change as well, which often affects our opinions as artists)