Good Life Tour of The Harn Jessica kIan

Medium of the Art / Technique of the Artist

"Palm Tree with Sea" , Hiram Williams 1991, Mixed Media on Paper

I went to an arts high school as a visual art student, so I have studies art history and appreciation, and practice art as well. My favorite type of art has always been colorful, somewhat abstract or loose representations of nature, so this piece of course called to me. The thick brush strokes were my favorite part, and seeing this painting online would have lost the effect these heavy strokes had. Although a little chaotic, this piece made me feel happy. I love the beach, palm trees, and the color yellow, and I think this is a beautiful montage of these. The lines and paint drips also help make the piece a complex and striking one.

Design of the Museum

The Frida Kahlo Exhibit

This exhibit was particularly appealing to me for several reasons. Frida Kahlo is one of my favorite artists, so I loved seeing all the photos of her, but I also really liked the way they were arranged, black and white in black frames with colorful walls. Frida's work is very colorful, so the bright blue walls with orange bands helped me feel like I was immersed in her life. Additionally, I liked that they had books with translations of the descriptions in Spanish. I can read in Spanish, so I used these and it further helped me immerse myself in the life and culture of Frida.

Art and Core Values

"Con Todo Respeto", Nahum Zenil 1983, Serigraph on Paper

This piece is about having respect for others, which is one of my absolute highest values. It is now one of my favorite pieces. The artist is a gay man from Mexico who is a major advocate for LGBT+ rights in Mexico and whose art is highly influenced by Frida Kahlo. So in this piece, he depicts another gay artist and his lover, but with Frida in between them. You can clearly see the discomfort in their faces, having to hide their sexuality. The piece instills sadness upon me, especially in light of recent political affairs. I have many LGBT+ friends who are scared for the future, due to the vice president elect and his stance on homosexuality. This art reinforces my hope that the accepting, compassionate people can overcome those who are hurtful, and that one day we truly can live "con todo respeto."

Art and the Good Life

"Northeast Gorge at Appledore", Childe Hassam 1912, Oil on Canvas

This piece exemplifies the theme of happiness found in nature, as well as the needlessness of material possessions. It depicts an idyllic scene of a man swimming in a gorge. The colors and brushstrokes convey happiness. Like Siddhartha or Thoreau, this man has found bliss immersed in nature, with nothing or no one but himself. This theme resonates with me, because I love being outside in nature, away from the burdens of technology or society. This painting reinforces the theme, as I become happy just looking at it.

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