Medium of the Art / Technique of the Artist
Seeing the Uma-Mahesvara in person was very different from seeing it in a photograph because of the medium it was made with. The creator of this work took a block of sandstone and carved intricate symbols and Hindu deities into it. The sculpture was well preserved, and I could even see details of the dainty jewelry worn by Uma and Shiva. I better understood this work by seeing it in person because it allowed me to appreciate the religious meaning behind the sculpture. The use of negative space in the sun behind the deities brought more attention to the beings themselves. The sandstone medium of the work was striking because it gave off an old/ancient vibe but was still so smooth and precise. Uma-Mahesvara communicated to me a theme of peace and spirituality, in addition to power and sanctity. This artwork made me feel intrigued, yet calm.
Design of the Museum
Art and Core Values
St. Jean's Bay by Leon Kroll caught my eye immediately in the American Art exhibit. I felt like my personal values of security and work/life balance were exemplified in the artist's intent. Normally landscape paintings seem very therapeutic and simple, but the meaning behind this painting is much more distinct. I worked through the emotions of love, desire, and longing as I processed St. Jean's Bay. The fisherman and women lounging by the bay are reminiscent of an earlier time when men needed to provide and women took care of other matters. I was able to explore and appreciate the core value of work/life balance through the fisherman's dedication. The painting instilled the emotion of awe and pensiveness. This is due to the gracefulness of the landscape and positioning of the women on the bay. It helps me better understand what my belief of the importance of work/life balance means, because I realized I should continue my hardworking nature, yet become more appreciative.
Art and the Good Life
This painting entitled Southern Teamster by Palmer Hayden is a visual representation of African American cultural inspiration (promoted in the late 1920s). This provoked me to think thoughtfully about the human condition and rights among people regardless of skin color. An African-American holding a whip in a farmland is a powerful image on its own, and it inspired me to change how I think and recognize injustice. This painting evokes the theme of fighting for and celebrating the good life. It evokes this theme with the depiction of the emotion of the man in the work. He looks jolly and peaceful, yet humble. This good life theme is important to the African American struggle. In reaching a form of the good life, slavery, denial of civil rights, hate crimes, and more have been serious hinderances to the Black community. African Americans have been put at an extreme disadvantage since the moment they arrived in America. This depiction of the man riding a horse added to my understanding and appreciation of fighting for the good life. This is because he seems to be full of fulfillment and glee despite what he has been through.