Orange and Gray Closed-Form Vessel
Medium/Technique of Artist
In high school, I took ceramics for three years and loved it. My teacher, Andy Rahe, constantly talked about his experiences as an apprentice for a ceramist named Toshiko Takaezu. He showed us countless pictures of her work in books, and I was impressed, but not amazed. I was ecstatic when I saw that her work was being featured in the museum and seeing her work in person rather than pictures in a book elicited a whole different reaction from me. It was amazing seeing how large her pieces were. They were at least twice as big as any of the work I had done during my time in high school and seeing them in person allowed me to look at them from different angles and appreciate their size. It was also very interesting to examine the foot of the vessels (the very bottom) up close because I always struggled with trimming the foot and it was clear that she was an expert. Her technique of closing the vessel at the top is also very interesting and that, along with the glaze, probably elicited the strongest reaction from me. The glaze and closed form made me feel much more appreciative of her work and her uniqueness because my teacher always said, "she reinvented the pot" but I never really understood what he meant. Seeing them in person contributed to my relationship with the piece and allowed me to feel more connected to and appreciative of her unique style.
David A. Cofrin Asian Art Wing
Design of the Museum
The David A. Cofrin Asian Art Wing was my favorite part of the museum because of the way they utilized wood to make the visitor feel they were in a more natural surrounding. In this wing, there were many art pieces made from stone and natural mediums. The large amount of wood, natural light, and the garden that you can see from the windows create a surrounding that allows the visitor to better appreciate the pieces in that exhibit that are created from a natural medium such as stone. I was impressed with the subtlety of this exhibit and how, if not paying attention, it's very easy to overlook the theme of nature in this exhibit, but how efficient it is in eliciting a reaction from visitors.
Art and Core Values
This photo of Beirut by Rania Matar aligns with my core values because it demonstrates the destructive force of war. One of my core values includes protecting those who are innocent and it is clear that in this city that has been reduced to rubble, many innocent citizens have been hurt, killed, or forced to flee. This image captures how this city used to be a place where people work and live and go through their daily lives but now, it is a war zone. This image spoke to me and made me sympathetic for all the innocent people, particularly in the middle east, whose safety and prosperity has been threatened by wars. This piece, along with her whole collection, What Remains, refuses to hide any of the disturbing details of how conflict affected those living in Lebanon. Being so explicit with her images appeals to every viewers core values and makes them sympathetic for those affected by this war. For me, the core value that this image best aligned with is protecting those who are innocent because the citizens of Beirut were innocent, yet their home was destroyed and their lives were threatened.
Waiting to be Transported
Art and the Good Life
This photo of a Syrian refugee in northern Iraq embodies the themes of fighting for the good life. The photo conveys a solemn situation and makes the viewers curious about the man in the center of the image. Who is he? Where is everyone else? Where is he going? It is clear from the context and title of the piece that he is fleeing from the conflict in Syria and fighting for an opportunity for the good life. It is impossible for him to live in a war zone and live a good life, so he is leaving his home behind to search for it somewhere else. This man is fighting for the good life, as are the soldiers that are fighting in the conflict he is fleeing, but they probably have different values that they believe should be included in that good life. It is clear from the water bottles around him that he is not the only one who is fighting for a good life by fleeing Syria, which elicits more feelings of sadness and sympathy from the viewer.