The Good Life Within The Harn EXPERIENCED by Gianna segnatelli


I went to the Harn expecting a sub-par portrayal of artworks but instead was pleasantly surprised by a wide arrangement of artwork depicting many themes and many artists. I went through the different exhibits including the African, Asian, Modern, Contemporary art and Photography collections. Each one was beautiful and inspired me, making me feel happy, mournful, as well as many other emotions. I can't wait to bring friends visiting from home to the Harn Museum of Art at The University of Florida

Medium of the Art / Technique of the Artist

Hiram Williams -Swimming Gator (1993).

Seeing this painting in person made me appreciate the artworks technique and my own interpretation, more than if I had seen it online.

The Swimming Gator had small and short detailed dark colored strokes which blended with the yellow color in the background, making it seem as if the gator was barely protruding from the water. This interpretation would not be evident if it was seen online because in person the details are more noticeable so the yellow and the black blending was easier to see. Furthermore the technique was so interesting to me, especially the way the artist made the Gator lines smudged and short, but the water lines were all the same direction and longer than the Gator lines. This gave the effect that the gator was swimming and in movement. I think it's hard to make the color of the object (gator) and the movement (the water) the same color black but the artist did this efficiently and gave the effect of the gator over a yellow contrasting background which also made the object of the gator moving, more evident. The artwork communicated to me the sense of life within an environment and made the Gator seem elegant. The painting did this by focusing only on the Gator which has a connotation of violence with it, and made it subtly in the water with light ripples distributed from its movement. The painting made me feel at peace because of the mellow yellow background and the subtle water ripples and the small strokes which created the Gator. It could have been bold and black but it blended with the yellow and created a subtle form of the gator.

Design of the Museum

David A. Cofrin Asian Art Wing

I found the Asian Art Wing the most appealing. This is due to the extremely spacial use of the room as well as the use of natural lighting. The exhibit was full of sculptures that were very spaced out and the natural lighting made them look more real, as if they were in a natural habitat rather than on display. I thought this exhibit was the most interesting because due to the spacial aspect of it, each object had more emphasis, rather than a lot of objects crowded together which makes it harder to appreciate each one on its own and focus on one at a time. The exhibit also had a beautiful garden path in the back which let in the natural lighting and the green of the foliage with the brown tones of the exhibit made it seem like all the sculptures were part of the environment.

The exhibit made me feel content and calm because due to the natural environment that the exhibit portrayed, I felt as if I was wondering through the woods finding beautiful things rather than examining art in a museum.

Art and Core Values

Bicycles, Stuart Robert Purser (1946)

I value success as well as caring for others. This painting depicts men racing, and one who has fallen. Some of the men look back to check on the man but keep going and don't stop, others don't even look at the fallen man and continue towards the finish line. This painting depicts my values of success because the men are racing toward the success of passing the finish line. The painting also depicts my value of caring for others because the men turn to look at one of the bikes who had fallen and take time out of their race to look because they care about others and thus wonder about his health. This painting makes me realize that success comes with a burden. Sometimes it takes sacrificing one value for another. The men who look back in the painting keep going even though they seem concerned for the man who has fallen. This action depicted in the painting makes me realize that sometimes you must give up caring for another for your own success. The men could have stopped to help but instead they chose their chance of succeeding and continued toward the finish line. The artwork makes me fearful because after looking at it it makes me understand that in the future I may face a time where I must choose between my chance to succeed, or helping someone else. The painting made me ponder this possibility. I then came to a conclusion that if I cherish someone enough I would give up my chance for success for that person but if they are a stranger to me I may choose my own success over helping someone else. This of course depends on the circumstance, in the painting we see a group of men who are racing so they most likely don't know each other and they are competing against each other. The one who fell off the bike most likely isn't seriously injured because he fell on grass and was only on a bike. In this case I would choose my own success over caring for another. This sacrifice of a value I hold dear frightens me but must occur in some cases. The painting helped me better understand my values and ponder what would happen if I had to choose one over the other.

Art and the Good Life

Justine Kurland, Another Girl Another Planet (2010)

The good life theme depicted in Kurland's picture is the happiness that comes with simplicity and the act of caring for friends and family.

The picture represents happiness that comes with simplicity because the people depicted in this picture don't seem to have any material things keeping them content, they are in a natural open field with sun and grass. The warm colors provide a connotation of contentness and calmness. There in no hectic activity, everyone is separated into groups enjoying their time in a simplistic open field in a natural enviornment. The sheep also depict a feeling of liveliness and simplicity as well because animals enjoy only what nature has to offer, they don't require material things. Furthermore the painting depicts the good life theme of the happiness that comes with family and friends because the painting shows people gathered together in happiness. The picture shows that there gathering is happy because the people are in positions laying down showing relaxation and contentness, the lighting is also warm and vibrant thus creating the connotation of calmness.

The picture by Kurland helps me understand these themes of the good life better because as I looked at the painting it made me feel content. I believe that I see the good life in simplicity and in friends and family thus when I saw the painting I felt the people's contentness and understood that it only takes a few friends and a good environment to be happy and relaxed in life. The painting depicts the people as content and satisfied with life, and better helped me understand that it doesn't take much to feel that way as well.

Thank you Samuel p. Harn!! (painted by M.B. Price)

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