Good Life Tour of the Harn Shivam Patel

Introduction: The Harn was full of many interesting art pieces. Going through the museum and viewing these separately gave me a better understanding of the art world and made me appreciate it more. Four aspects contributed to the experience: the medium of the art, the design of the museum, the art's core values, and how the art contributes to the Good Life.

Medium of the Art: A piece of art that popped out to me was the Irving J. Goffman Garden. All it was was a garden in the building, enclosed by a glass wall with a door. The medium chosen gave a better sense of nature, which was what I interpreted the message of the art piece. Actually seeing the garden itself instead of a picture gave the viewer a sense of being connected to nature. This work of art made me appreciate nature more, but it also made me sad that the state of the world's environment is declining continuously. It made me feel that we need to make certain changes to our everyday lives to try and save this aspect of the Earth.

Design of the Museum: Making a return appearance, the Irving J. Goffman Garden was the most exquisite part of the design of the museum. The garden was included inside the museum, but inside a little atrium-like room. I find it cool because it is unusual to see such an exhibit inside a museum, and including this exhibit into the museum gave a fresh change of pace when viewing the art. It made me feel more connected to the outside world, as if we are all one with nature.

Art and Core Values: Jim Twadell's Place contributed to my value of desire. It is an oil on canvas painting of a large house in a rural setting, which is a desire of mine. This piece of art showed me that desire is not necessarily a negative thing, but it can serve as a driving factor, making me strive to achieve a particular thing in life. It made me long to be successful, so that one day I could be happy and achieve the Good Life.

Art and the Good Life: One piece of art that I found to include a very important theme of the Good Life to it was the Seated Bodhisattva. It showed the aspect of actually achieving the Good Life. It depicts the Buddha, who is known to have achieved the good life, or enlightenment. It showed me that actually achieving the Good Life is within my reach, within everyone's reach, and that if I stay to the right path, that I may one day be truly happy with myself and everything that I stand for. It also showed me that achieving the Good Life does not necessarily happen right away, that it can take years for it to come along, as it took him a long time to achieve his Good Life.

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Shivam Patel
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