Good Life Harn Activity Let there be art!


"Hen!" Photo taken by my friend

On the same day my friend and I attended the butterfly exhibit at the natural history museum, we also attended the Harn art museum in the same area. To me, it seemed like a very usually un-busy day. However, there were several groups of children touring alongside women who guided them through the museum. Something I saw but didn't snap a picture of was the group of children sitting in front of this wall covered in what appeared to be various colored glass vases. This neon 'vased' wall was absolutely gorgeous and sat beside the room filled with Korean originated masterpieces.

It's been quite some time since I last visited the Harn and I am much older now. I find that withe age I understand my artistic limitations and see exactly what I am capable of. Recognizing the ability of somebody else blows my mind. A new appreciation for the artist has formed.

Medium of the Art / Technique of the Artist

Taken by me

This is one sculpture or work that I feel can be greater appreciated in person than through even this picture here. I feel that the viewer doesn't take into consideration just how many textures are present here. When in person I can truly take in every individual crystal and the difference from shards to rock. In person, the rock just looks like hardened sand molded through patience. Another thing that is under appreciated through the picture is the vibrant color of the crystals. Viewing them online causes them to appear less alive and full of color. I know that this is so simple and one can argue it is the most simple piece in the building as it is just rock and crystal, something that can be found in nature. I think that's why I find it to be so alluring. Especially having done the butterfly walk prior to this, I had a new appreciation for the simpler things in life. This work is something that could be created by man or nature. Quite possibly man AND nature. The simplicity of it, the "I could do that!" factor lets me relate more to the artist. In addition, blue has always been my favorite color and this turquoise just blows that feeling up.

Overall, I feel that this work can just be appreciated better when the viewer takes every color and texture into consideration. Possibly how long it took to shape the work perfectly. Simplicity is a beautiful thing, and this, a fine example. I feel it is also important to consider the works that are placed around it. When viewing the piece online, it comes without the atmosphere. We are unable to ask ourselves, why was it placed here? Why is that next to it? When in person, the full aroma of the room is devoured.

Design of the Museum

Taken by my friend

Alright, so this is an interesting one. Unfortunately I was unable to capture it's true feeling as it was a video. The video showed a woman in a kitchen setting. She was speaking in a very monotone voice and began waving a knife around in the arrangement of the alphabet going through each and every letter. As you can see, the room was very small and alone sat one bench. It was a dark setting and all I could hear was this woman's monotone voice blowing over me. I think the quiet presence an art museum holds helps us to take in each and every work. Sitting alone for this moment as a picture was taken made me feel as if I was being initiated into some sort of cult. That is the feeling this black and white video gave me. I think the setting helped that feeling progress greatly. Perhaps this is what the artist intended. Being closed in with only her image and voice draws all focus to her and it felt as if no other thoughts were occurring.

Outside of this little box were photographs portrayed in natural light against white walls. I really enjoyed this wing as I am the type of person who prefers photographs to paintings. Black and white pictures against white walls seems so bland, however, I found them to tell a tale of their own. In addition, there were some paintings which did provide a nice balance on the otherwise 'bland' canvas. I really enjoyed the setting of hardwood floors and such an open space for these pieces. I think it allowed the photographs to grow. The wide open spaces made you feel smaller. I feel this gave a bigger effect to the photographs that could possibly seem small when close to them. The addition of natural light gave a more organic feel to viewing the works. As if we were in somebodies house viewing these pictures aside a window. The still and quietness of an art museum, that is the most pleasing of sounds.

Art and Core Values

Taken by me

I know at first glance this painting seems so simple. As somebody who historically hasn't had as much appreciation for paintings as others, I truly enjoy the simple things, such as the first work I mentioned. I think what I enjoy about this work is the freedom it shows. Or quite possibly, how everyday life contains freedom. This piece just makes me feel good. To put it directly, it makes me feel happy. I enjoy seeing something as simple as a house and woman working being made into art. The brush strokes all seem so soft and the colors are quiet. There is nothing here that sticks out too much. It's as if everything in the picture is an important piece of the puzzle. A very important core value to me is freedom, more specifically, the ability to make one's own choices and live without regrets.

This painting depicts that. This woman is working in her yard. She so smoothly takes care of the house she freely lives in. The light brush strokes in the grass allow the ground to blend together. Another value would be togetherness and communication. I think this is shown by the lack of hard lines. Though we can see that objects are differentiated in the painting, there are no harsh black lines separating things. Everything is in the same environment together living in the same conditions, freely. This piece allows me to better understand how simple of an achievement freedom can be. Just making the choice to step outside into nature everyday is me exercising my freedoms. This woman, leaving her home into her world is freedom. The fence in the picture is incomplete, leaving a way for her to exit and enter her safe zone. This broken fence shows that there is no boundary between us and the outside world. Overall, this painting allows me to cherish freedom and realizing how much I shouldn't take it for granted. How simple it is to endure freedom in a modern era. What a simple happiness freedom is.

Art and the Good Life

Taken by me

Upon seeing this work it immediately reminded me of our study of Walden in the Good Life class. This theme of appreciating nature and finding your place of happiness. The journey of finding a place that you feel express who you are and allows you to become closer to yourself. This image of a forrest and a mountain. Similar to the one before, there are no harsh lines. The painting resembles a free, blending, and open wooded scene full of vibrant colors waiting to be seen.

I think this open scene displays the theme of simplicity. I know i've spoken much of this throughout this story, but I feel it sums up my experience. This idea that the simplest of things can bring each individual pleasure. Why does something as simple as blotches of color in the shape of a forest bring me pleasure? Is it the colors? The idea of a forest? I think it is a combination of those things. I feel that these simple works of art are truly the deepest. They allow so many different types of people from all over the world to enjoy them for different reasons. Because there is no huge complex pop culture understand of the work, no matter one's background, they can enjoy it. I think this is exactly what simplicity and Walden were expressing. the idea that happiness is so trivial and yet so unique to all. We can find happiness in the simplest of places, perhaps, a forest. The reds, and blues, and greens, and yellows all blending together represent the individualistic nature of humans. We are all different, yet so alike.

Finally, this painting represents the idea of simplicity. We all can find happiness in different places and perhaps this vibrantly painted forest is mine. This painting gives me a deeper understanding of what walden was talking about. It allows me to dig deeper and envision what his forest could have been like and, maybe, what mine is like. This painting can provide such universal joy because of it's simple message. I think that is what the Good Life is about. It's about all of us enjoying things for different reasons. It's about all of us finding exactly what makes us smile, even if it doesn't make your neighbor smile. The Good Life, is about us.

(Photo I wanted to include)

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