Day at the Harn Marcela Quiroz

Medium of the Art/Technique of the Artist

Grosz, George. Manhattan. 1946. Oil on Board, Harn Museum of Art, Gainesville, FL. By Marcela Quiroz. "I and Manhattan." 2017. JPEG.

When I saw this work, I immediately knew it was New York without even having to read its title. The perspective of it made me feel like I was standing on top of the Chrysler, separated from the moving and honking and reckless driving. I felt dirty just from looking at it, covered in soot, as if I had come home from working at the factory. This work conveyed what it was to live in Manhattan, with skyscrapers pointed towards the sky and man-made clouds. I found it particularly interesting that it was an oil on canvas because upon looking at it, I thought of the Second Industrial Revolution and the change from coal to oil. The greasy texture of the work reiterates the dirt and grime that characterized this time period, making it come to life even more so. The actual technique of the artist is also particularly grainy, reflecting the smog that covered the skies of Manhattan. This work certainly consumed all five of my senses.

Design of the Museum

Quiroz, Marcela. "In the Contemporary Exhibit of the Harn Museum of Art, Gainesville, FL." 2017. JPEG.

I knew I would like the layout of the Contemporary exhibit the most before I even walked into it. It was entirely open with only a few wall divisions (in comparison to the other exhibits). It felt inviting and welcoming. The layout of this exhibit let you wander in any direction and see things from afar and up close. The spacious nature of this exhibit didn't feel as suffocating as the other wings. You had the freedom to move around and take your time. I felt that the lighting in this wing of the museum didn't create a spotlight on each piece, but rather the entire exhibit was enveloped in light all together. The openness of this exhibit made me feel like I can take my time walking around. Even if there were to be more people, it wouldn't feel as crowded because of the way this wing was designed. I felt relaxed and serene while looking at the contemporary exhibit. It made me feel familiar. I could relate more to the artwork because it was subjects and topics that I was more acquainted with.

Art and Core Values

Noggie, Anne. Artifact. 1976. Gelatin Silver Print, Harn Museum of Art, Gainesville, FL. By Marcela Quiroz. "I and Artifact." 2017. JPEG.

One of my core values is that of personal growth, which I felt was perfectly illustrated in this photograph. I felt like you could see this woman's entire life through her hands. She grew up, she got married, she had a family, she got older, and she reflected. I felt young looking at this photograph, and like I really have my entire life ahead of me. I even felt touched and a little homesick for my mom and my grandma. These hands seemed as gentle as my mom's, who would brush my hair and cook for me, and they also seemed experienced, like my grandma's, who lived on a farm and through a war. All I could think about was the infiniteness of time, and it's contradictory abrupt nature. It makes me want to cherish each stage of my life and not rush through anything. This photograph told an entire story through some dentures and rings, but it was a story that I hold very close to my heart.

Art and the Good Life

Morris-Hunt, William. Florida Landscape.1875. Oil on Canvas. Harn Museum of Art, Gainesville, FL. By: Marcela Quiroz. "I and Florida Landscape." 2017. JPEG.

The Good Life theme evoked in this work was that of transcendentalism. I think society as a whole tends to take the earth we were given for granted. It is a work encompassing a very straightforward and uncomplicated topic, yet it strikes my love for the earth that I am fortunate enough to live on. We forget how to find beauty in towering trees, we forget how to appreciate rainy days for sustaining all forms of life, and we forget to take care of the very delicate ecosystems that take care of all of us. Humans are indebted to nature. We are here and alive because of the ongoing processes that are constantly happening around us. It is not a matter of being cliché and being "one with nature" but being rather living alongside it and respecting it. We must give all forms of life the reverence they deserve, and it will be reciprocated. All creatures deserve to live the Good Life in some shape or form, but it starts within ourselves.

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