Connecting with my Identity at the Harn Camila Arzola's journey through (mostly) the Latin American exhibit


So far, I have gone to the Harn Museum about five times. The museum's art never fails to evoke emotions and thoughts about myself and the world around me. While the art is interesting, I found myself mechanically walking through the museum this time, taking pictures of myself with old favorites until I stumbled into the newly opened Latin American art exhibition. I had seen the exhibit once before, but I was with my family then, so I wasn't able to peruse at my leisure. This time, having time to linger on the names of people and art that were both familiar and unfamiliar struck a chord with me. To see art depicting familiar Caribbean scenes and a mural that was once displayed on a building I once swam by in Puerto Rico was something awoke something I rarely feel. Something like pride, or maybe kinship. Generally, when I feel art, I have to forge a connection with it starting with nothing. But there, I already had a relationship with it, which is something I never knew I wanted. While forging connections is what art is all about and often yields high emotional profit, it was nice to have a change.

Swimming Gator by Hiriam Williams


This one is an old favorite. I feel guilty for picking it, but I think that it is a good representative of an interesting technique. In person, it's not immediately obvious that the painting depicts a gator. (Or at least it wasn't to me, maybe because of my height.) Only as my eyes followed the spine of the gator up, deciphering the dark brush strokes among the yellow background did I realize it was UF's beloved mascot animal. I really like how the painting emulates seeing a gator in real life, as it generally takes me a bit of time to notice that the wet thing that looks like a discarded tire is not trash, but a living creature. The brush strokes around the gator also emulate the imitate the gentle movement of the water around its powerful body. The colors and composition chosen are also calming, soothing colors to me, giving me a very similar impression to watching a gator in real life. This might be a little unusual, but watching gators swim effortlessly in the water gives me a sort of inner peace as well as a bit of envy.

A thanksgiving prayer to the Mixe god Kioga in gratitude for the good harvest, Oaxaca, Mexico by Sebastiao Salgado

The Good Life

This artwork makes me think deeply about the indigenous peoples in Mexico who are mistreated by the government and constantly feud with law enforcement, often at enormous disadvantages. All of Latin America (as well as North America but I'm going to ignore that) is scarred heavily by the effects of imperialism starting in the 15th century, with many people still fighting against its effects. The two people depicted in the print look above that, however. They wear indigenous styled clothing and pray to their Gods their ancestors prayed to before colonial times, symbolizing how they remain true to their culture even with the influence of modern religion and customs. With their arms extended in thanksgiving, they look like they are free from the bounds and effects of imperialism and seem connected to other worldly forces. If that isn't the Good Life, I don't know what is. To contain happiness and gratitude for the things you have and have freedom in expressing your authentic self even with the pressures of society is how I currently define the good life.

I deleted all the pictures I didn't want because I thought I didn't need them anymore. Therefore i don't know what this artwork is called, I am sorry. (This is also the reason why i don't appear in most pics!)

Art and Core Values

This artwork reminds me of the surrealist artist Leonora Carrington, with the stylized face and darker colors and tones. It reminds me of times in which I feel trapped because of my parents, due to their overbearing conservative mentality and religious zeal. Like the girl in the picture, they try to keep me contained because they think I am in the wrong, that my "life style" is misguided and incorrect. Like the bird, I am not happy with those conditions. The bird and the girl still have a dependent relationship, however, as the girl feeds the bird and the bird sings for the girl. They depend on each other because of the forced conditions brought upon the bird and... wow that's depressing. Um, I think that's enough for today.

Wow!!! Look at this amazingly cropped picture of me in the Asian Collection room!!!

Design of the Museum

The room in which most of the Asian exhibit is always appealing because of the largeness of the room and the view to the Asian water garden outside the windows. I like how everything feels really compartmentalized, as most of the art works are displayed in shelves and niches around the room. The compartmentalization makes everything feel organized and open. I also love the natural and organic feel of the wood flooring, which I feel adds to the nice blend of indoor and outdoor elements, as the artificial structure of the inside of the room complements the more organic elements in the garden outside.

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