Tour of the Harn by Riley Bassett

Medium of the Art/Technique of the Artist

Filaments of Light by Yvonne Jacquette (2000)

This piece of art, created by Yvonne Jacquette, depicts an aerial view of a city along a coast at night. Upon first glance, I thought the piece of art was made using a scratch board or charcoal, or even white chalk on black paper. What amazes me most about this piece is that it was constructed entirely of carved wood. I can't imagine the amount of time it must have taken Yvonne Jacquette to etch each individual carving so much that it looks like a painting. Even the cars on that road are etched with incredible detail; their headlights illuminate the dark, winding road before them, a feat I thought to be impossible for a wood carving. The way she manipulates light, and the absence thereof, is what I find truly remarkable about this work. There exists a clear pattern of continuity and fluidity that draws the viewer in - initially by the impressive skyline, then down to the bottom of the piece where the road is. From there, the viewer follows the road all the way up the coastline and back to the top of the piece. It is in this way Yvonne Jacquette conveys a feeling of movement and chaos that mirrors the busy nightlife of the city, but also establishes a sense of unity and rhythm within the piece.

Design of the Museum

Me in the Asian Water Garden

Although I immensely enjoyed the artwork, the Asian Water Garden was my favorite part of the Harn Museum because of the juxtaposition of such a beautiful garden amidst so many pieces of art. The presence of this garden draws attention to the beauty of nature and how it can be viewed as a form of art itself. There is a lovely waterfall fixture that the stream stems from and the sound of trickling water can be heard immediately upon entering the garden. There is a bridge that crosses the short stream, which empties into a pond and surrounding it are several trees providing shade, one with a bench underneath. Overall the garden is incredibly tranquil and meant to relax the inhabitants. The garden is placed halfway through the circle of exhibits visitors follow and is an excellent place to relax the mind after intensely studying so many intricate pieces of art.

Art and Core Values

Sheep Wranglers by Justin Kurland (2001)

When I entered the Contemporary Collection, I was immediately drawn to this piece of art hanging in the far right corner. I have always considered myself a fan of the outdoors; whether it be hiking, fishing, hunting, or any number of activities, I have always found myself at peace in nature. This scene of schoolgirls playing and relaxing in a meadow resonated with me particularly. The large tree in the center of the frame providing shade on a sunny day looks particularly enticing. If I could walk into any picture I saw at the Harn, it would most definitely be this one. Aside from the piece being visually appealing, it contains many elements that I align with. There is a strong sense of sisterhood and friendship in this piece as there are no other members of the opposite sex present. Even though I am male, I can appreciate the bond between these girls as I have felt a similar one between myself and my siblings, as well as with my close friends. The girls are free to be themselves and are unaffected by the outside world. It demonstrates friendships being forged in adolescence and the simplicity of childhood. The girls have not a care in the world as they lay under the tree and frolic with the sheep.

Art and the Good Life

When racism and sexism are no longer fashionable, what will your art collection be worth? - Guerrilla Girls (1989)

This piece and many of the pieces of art by the Guerrilla Girls are very thought provoking. The guerrilla girls draw attention to the injustices in the art community. As you walk into the Contemporary Collection, you are met by a quote painted largely on the opposite wall, it reads, "less than 4% of the artists in the Modern Art section of New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art are women, but 76% of the nudes are female." I had no idea women were so underrepresented in the arts. Upon doing research, I found that these statistics have not improved significantly from when the Guerrilla Girls created this piece in 1989. In fact, there is a wage gap among artists as well. Approximately 51% of visual artists today are female, but on average they make 81 cents for every dollar a male artist makes. Had I not paid much attention to this portion of the exhibit, I would not have thought much about gender disparity and the arts. The Guerrilla Girls fought for their good life by spreading the truth about gender disparity and racial disparity and the arts, in the hopes that one day there will be equality among all artists. This inspires the viewer to fight for what they believe in and to not accept anything less than they deserve.

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