Tour of the Harn Marissa Dye

Medium of the Art/Technique of the Artist

Zandvoort, 1981 by Frank Stella

The piece pictured above, titled Zandvoort, is created from mixed media on etched magnesium and was created using arabesques and ready-made templates employed by marine and railroad draftsmen. It is a very abstract piece that cannot be fully encompassed in the picture alone. In person, it is much easier to appreciate the shapes and dimensions of the work, especially parts of it that are layered beneath other parts. The piece is part of a series titled Circuits in which each sculpture is named after a city that hosted the Grand Prix. The curves and shapes of Zandvoort reminded me of the turns of a race track. The colors and the juxtaposition of the pieces of the sculpture evoke the adrenaline rush and excitement that comes from the racing experience. This piece is especially intriguing to me personally because the Dutch city of Zandvoort in the Netherlands is very close to where my best friend lives and I can't help but wonder how the piece would speak to him.

Design of the Museum

Asian Art Wing Garden

The Asian Art Wing Garden was particularly appealing to me because it provided a literal and metaphorical breath a fresh air and showcased a different type of art. The garden is located in the very back of the Harn at the end of the Asian Art Wing. This location of the Garden almost makes it seem like a reward. After I walked through the main wings and the Asian art wing, I was beginning to feel closed in. Although the art is very intriguing and captivating inside the museum, the plain white walls and linoleum floors became too dull. The garden was full of color from every single angle. The garden made me feel very peaceful and relaxed, and the sound of the rushing water from the waterfalls were calming and comforting. I spent quite some time in the area, just observing the foliage and appreciating the aesthetic.

Art and Core Values

Funeral, 1945 by Stuart Robert Purser

This depiction of a funeral resonates deeply with me. I have attended far too many funerals for having only been alive for nineteen years. The first funeral I remember was that of my classmate, Lizbeth, who took her own life in 2011. Since then, I've been to eight others. No funeral has been "easier" than the others, but my grandfather's funeral was definitely the most difficult. I once thought that loss had a way of finding me more often than others, as it seemed I was losing people in my life more frequently than those around me. However, this painting has shown me another perspective. The work depicts a funeral, a basic human experience, with several people in attendance. The artist, however, seems to be standing outside the event as an observer rather than a close relative or a participant. This conveys a level of respect and understanding about such experiences. Although the artist seems to be unrelated or loosely related to the deceased, he still pauses to pay his respects. Loss is an experience that effects everyone at some point or another, and even though some people may be more fortunate to have attended fewer funerals in their lifetime than another person, this does not mean that their loss means anything more or less than someone else's.

Art and the Good Life

Day of the Dead Tree With Figures, date unknown

This Day of the Dead piece conveys the Good Life theme of Celebration.The Day of the Dead, or Dia De Los Muertos, is a Mexican holiday during which family and friends gather to pray for and remember relatives and friends who have died, and to help support their spiritual journey. This particular work inspired me to think about the various ways in which different cultures celebrate things that are universal among all cultures. Death and loss are human experiences that every individual on the planet will experience at some point during their lifetime. However, many cultures have different ways in celebrating the lives of lost loved ones. In Mexico, the dead are celebrated annually on a day during which one remembers all of those he has lost. Although this is different than what Americans might do, the idea behind the celebration is that the dead are honored. I find beauty in the idea that death and loss are basic human experiences that we all must go through on our journeys through life.


all photos taken by me at the Harn Museum of Art in Gainesville, FL

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