The Harn Museum Meaghan Norus

Above is a picture of the entrance walkway to the Harn Museum which we are lucky enough to have right on the perimeter of our campus.

Medium of the Art and Technique of the Artists

Everyone views a piece of art differently. But, seeing the display in person can be so much more effective than just seeing a picture of it. You are able to see it from every angle and notice the smallest details that a picture would never show. They say a picture says a thousand words, but when it comes to art, you must see it in person in order to fully experience it. When walking around the museum, I was amazed by the exhibit of Fancy Dress Masquerade in Ghana. Examining the exhibit and reading about the yearly tradition was very interesting and educational. For instance, I learned that the costumes are composed of layers of fringed fabrics and various colors. If I were to see a picture of the statue below, then I would really not understand the whole meaning. I would not notice the small details or textures. Thus, I would not truly see the entire meaning of the Good Life through the exhibit. Art is very powerful and always has a deeper meaning. In the case of the Fancy Dress Masquerade in Ghana, I felt that it was trying to show the long- time tradition of a community. This is something that brings them together, so they can have fun and celebrate each individual's many successes.

Above is a statue of what the people would look like when partaking in The Fancy Dress Masquerade in Ghana. As you look at these pictures, I do not think you will see the same things that I was able to see as I viewed the exhibit in person. Photos by Meaghan Norus.

Design of the Museum

I have not really been to many museums recently so I was pretty impressed with the over all layout and design of the museum. When I first entered, I handed my GatorOne to the receptionist and looked around as she checked me in. The clean and modern foyer was very welcoming especially as people shuffled in and out. I then walked towards the actually museum area where I proceeded on my self- tour. As I opened the door, I was overwhelmed with the many different sections of displays I saw. As I ventured around, I was truly amazed with all the beautiful art that seemed to be endless. At the very back, I found the Ceramics wing. I was amazed by the beautiful pottery. Not only did this exemplify art but also different lifestyles of people from China, Japan, Central Asia, and South? Southeast Asia. When observing the ceramics, I saw such an array of sizes, shapes and colors. I feel this is a way for the artist to share their beliefs and experiences. I think I really appreciated this wing because it brought so many different cultures together and allowed room for each viewer to form their own connections between the different cultures and their own. In addition, I took a ceramics class in high school and really enjoyed it. I was always given an assignment but able to take my own approach on it, making it my own. Which in the long run, helped me to find my meaning of the Good Life. I really enjoyed how many different cultures the art displayed. I was able to learn so much yet somehow connect all the exhibits into the journey of seeking the Good Life.

The above pictures are different angles of the Ceramics wing. At first glance, you can see the great variation in the pottery. I feel that each piece tells a different story of a different culture. Photo by Meaghan Norus

Art and Core Values

The first exhibit I saw in the museum truly amazed me. It was full of beauty and complication, much like life. The Zandvoot by Frank Stella was in the American Abstraction wing and is truly an abstract. When I continuously stare at this piece and really think about it, I relate it to the core value of desire. I believe this is because the actual piece is so complex yet so simple. When we desire something, it can be a complex feeling but can also be simple. In life, it is human to desire many things; some of which we can achieve more easily than others. One of our biggest desires is discovering our individual Good Life. More times than not, this can be a long and tough process but the experiences that come along the way are amazing. If you look closely, one can notice the many different and vibrant colors that make up the structure. Now, imagine it without all the colors. Would you have the same view on it? I don't think it would make me think of the core value of desire anymore because when I desire something I know I must work hard and stay positive. Color and positivity tend to correlate in my mind. I do not think I would stay motivated if I viewed everything as black and white. Seeking the Good Life is a difficult and time consuming process, but it is very manageable and when all the pieces connect (like they do below), it is truly amazing.

Above are pictures of the Zandvoot by Frank Stella. By looking at it, one can see the Good Life being portrayed through the vibrant colors and complexity of the structure. It all comes together to form something bigger and better than the little parts of it, just as the Good Life does. (Sorry for the blurriness in the right picture, my hand shakes too much). Photo by Meaghan Norus.

Art and the Good Life

I think that art is one of the most accurate forms of self- reflection. Art allows one to express their beliefs and feelings but also allows other people to relate to it in one way or another. When touring the Harn, I found many interesting exhibits that portrayed the true meaning of the good life to me. But, the most relatable exhibit was the Untitled (pictured below). While this does not seem like much, it is really everything. The simplicity of the piece correlates so well with my view on the Good Life. In discussion class, we have talked about how great simplicity can be when seeking your enlightenment. This exhibit is nothing but simplicity. It is very abstract and twisted, yet simple. When interpreting this, it made me think of the twisted life we live. The daily endeavors of life can be so difficult yet so simple, much like this piece. Joel Shaprio used wood, plaster and bronze materials on this piece, creating a great texture. The mixture of materials is great in portraying the Good Life as it complicates the situation. I really believe that in order to even partially discover the meaning of the Good Life, an individual must experience complications.

This is the Untitled, try to pay special attention to all the different materials that it is made of. I feel that this is more effective to see in person as it appears to be so simple. As always, art has a greater meaning than just the structure of the piece. In addition, what the artists had in mind when creating it is much different than how each observer views it. Photo by Meaghan Norus.
This is me standing with the complex art called the Untitled by Joel Shapiro. Photo by Meaghan Norus.

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