Tour of the Harn Krista Wisemen

Introduction: I recently took a trip to the Harn Museum. Its exhibits were thought-provoking and there were multiple exhibits that drew my eye. It offered meaning through an array of techniques and symbols, ultimately making this trip to the museum praise-worthy.

Technique of the Artist: Stuart Robert Purser was a 20th century artist whose paintings portray human experiences as "universal statements." Funeral is an oil on canvas painting with meaning that jumps off the page. Purser's intention was to paint the scene as an observer, rather than giving a sense of partaking in the funeral activities. The oil on canvas technique was striking to me, given how the array of rich colors really balanced out the contrasting light and dark hues. The painting communicated a sense of loss, which made me feel a little out of sorts, but that was the point of the painting. Since it is such a universal human experience to lose a loved one or attend a funeral, it helps connect multiple viewers of the art on a deeper level.

Design of the Museum: The museum connected multiple natural elements in this wing of the exhibit. From the wide, open space, to its nature-based contents, to its outer nature garden, this design was by far my favorite. It has a warm glow of light that fills the room, without being too bright or not bright enough. The outdoor area shines through the glass, giving the area a natural lighting to enhance the natural feel. The layout of the area is open, except for two massive bones in the middle of the exhibit. This exhibit made me feel at peace, given its multiple earthly elements.

Art and Core Values: City Blocks by Bertram Hartman's painting evokes my fear of heights, but it also highlights my core value of courage. Hartman's buildings are meant to look canyon-like. This painting reminds me how fear can be overcome by courage, which is what I tell myself when I'm feeling nervous about an outcome. This painting highlights my sense of fear, but ultimately accentuates a sense of courage, because I picture myself on the top of the building looking down. It makes me realize that although many things may instill fear within you, you have to have the courage to reach the top of the building and enjoy the view.

Art and The Good Life: The Seated Bodhisattva statue embodies the Good Life theme. Many elements of this artwork convey important characteristics of the bodhisattva. The good life theme in this piece emphasizes the idea of helping others. The bodhisattva is compassionate towards those who share his goal of becoming enlightened. By hindering his own enlightenment, the bodhisattva can help others attain their own enlightenment. The bodhisattva statue adds to the meaning of the theme by giving an example of a person who has given up a major component in his life journey in order to help those like him, and adds to my own appreciation of the theme by offering a reminder to act selflessly. The positions of his hands represent fearlessness and generosity. His face gives a sense of wisdom. All of these traits are key when seeking the good life.

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