My Artstic Journey Through the Harn Museum By Jordan Richtmeyer

outside garden

an abstract piece of artwork

The first piece of art seen in the museum

an ancient head dress

A painting I found quite different

a different statue in the middle of a garden

Medium of the art/technique of the artist

Upon going into the Harn Museum of Art, many pieces caught my eye immediately and piqued my curiosity to find out the meaning behind the painting or sculpture. One painting in particular by Joaquin Torres-Garcia grabbed my attention with its many colors and the variation in shapes. Once I got closer, however, I realized that he has painted people specifically out of these abstract shapes and varying earth tones. The style of looking like one thing from far away to a completely different image once you get closer is intriguing to me and shows that he had to have really thought about what he wants to portray and achieve in his painting. I really appreciated how it looked so effortless yet I know so much thought and feeling must've been put into it to make the viewer curious and appreciate his work. The painting itself brought a feeling of happiness and togetherness by looking at the two men portrayed of many colors. It really shows how we may be of all different colors and experiences but can still live together and share life. It really communicated to me a sense of diversity and being able to relate to one another. It showed to me how we may be made of not the same material, or in this case colors and shapes, but still communicate and understand and embody our lives wholeheartedly. His piece "Constructivist Figures" left me with a good feeling and thoughts of unity in the human race.

Design of the museum

While the whole museum held amazing exhibits, my personal favorite had to be the Cofrin Asian Art Wing, not only for the pieces displayed but the beautiful use of space that made me feel right at home and relaxed while viewing the art. Once entering, the use of the space to lay out larger sculptures in the center of the room and cradling it with smaller exhibits off to the sides make it all the more aesthetically appealing. Also, the multitude of windows offers more natural lighting from the garden outside which made it much more realistic and soft whereas a light inside the museum would make it much harder to interpret and enjoy the works presented. The spacing of everything helped make me feel that there was a lot to enjoy and view in the exhibit but was far enough apart that I didn't feel overwhelmed on where to focus my attention. The exhibit itself made me feel refreshed from the inside and that what I'd learned from the art itself and the descriptions made me feel enlightened. As for the outside garden it was, literally, a breath of fresh air, but also a nice way to break up the experience and give the mind a chance to absorb what it learned from the first half of the room. It overall was a very peaceful and gorgeous exhibit to behold and experience as a whole. It gave me a balanced and airy feeling after going through all the works available and really left me with a good feeling all around.

art and core values

Many of the art presented in the museum instilled a good feeling after viewing it, however one painting in particular left me feeling quite inspired and thoughtful. The painting "Funeral," by Stuart Robert Purser was one that is sad upon the first glance of the viewer however tells a real story underneath the resonates within myself. The painting depicts many African American people viewing a funeral within the time that segregation was a main topic. I feel that while on the outside we may not look the same, whether it be colorings, actions, or how we dress, at the end of the day we are all the same thing, human beings. We all end up dying at the end of life regardless of who we were while we lived and so we should all treat one another equally and with respect. This painting depicts how all the viewers of the funeral are of the same skin color due to the societal rules of who to be around, when the one who died may have had friends of all colors, or family of all colors, but due to the lack of equality, he ended up only being able to have that group attend. It not only made me feel sad, but made me feel like while this may have been long ago, this still occurs in society today and we should put an end to it. It made me feel inspired to speak my mind and use my voice to make a difference. The painting resonated in me the feeling of wanting equality and to truly cherish that we live in a day and age where this isn't occurring as harshly as it once did. This only furthered my emotions towards the topic and thoughts that we are all equal and should act as such.

art and the good life

Also within my favorite area to explore in the Harn sits the statue I feel depicts the good life quite greatly. The statue "Dancing Ganesh," by an unknown artist has a light and childlike air about it. I think it represents embodying the good life by representing having a good time and doing what you feel you want to do to live happily. It's joyous position on one leg as it appears to be standing on another creature makes it seem happy and carefree about life. It's covered in many jewels and jewelry throughout the statue and holds multiple objects showing while it may seem to have a lot of things, it truly only has the things it requires in order to thrive and appreciate what's given to it. Being a visual learner, it helps me to truly appreciate what it looks like to be happy and carefree in nature and to truly embrace what the good life represents to me. As a whole it just gives off the feeling of being yourself and doing what you care about to truly be enthralled in your life.

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