Tour of the Harn Spark story by Jesse McElveen

INTRODUCTION: I had never been to an art museum before so I wasn't really sure what to expect. I love history museums but this was a whole new thing. I went in thinking I would just breeze through it and get whatever I needed done, but I ended up really enjoying it and taking my time to take it all in. By the time I left, I felt more comfortable about going there and I think I may have found a new love for a different kind of museum.

MEDIUM OF ART/ TECHNIQUE OF THE ARTIST: This artwork was done by Yvonne Jacquette and it's called Tokyo Street with Pachinko Parlor II. Immediately after walking into the first room of the Harn, this painting caught my eye because of it's use of color and interesting style of application. I had never seen this piece of art before which gave it an even greater impact. From far away, the bright pinkish building in a sea of darker tones caught my eye. Once I was up close with it, I was able to see the interesting, almost chunky, strokes of paint that made up the entirety of the image. It reminded me of a crowded street in a city, like New York, where things are lit up by the signs and buildings. It brought back a rush of memories from the times I had been to New York to visit my aunt, who lived there at the time. I got this overwhelming feeling of excitement. I had never been to an art museum before and I was sort of dreading my trip there as I was doing it in a allotted time slot. However, after seeing this painting, I felt more welcomed and appreciative of the art I was about to see.

Tokyo Street with Pachiinko Parlor II (1985)

DESIGN OF THE MUSEUM: This was the Asian art wing, which I found particularly appealing. I love hard wood flooring and décor but this went above and beyond what I could've imagined. It just makes everything look very classy and modern. I also really like the massive pieces on the floor of the gallery. I hadn't seen something like that before. Most of the art was out of the main walkway, allowing you to take in the whole room. Most of the light for this room came from the huge glass window which was the cover photo of the Spark Story. Natural light helped to make this wing feel lighter. It had a very calm energy and just a very nice feeling to it. It didn't feel like the rest of the rooms did which I thought was interesting. There was an outdoor garden with a little pond and a bridge which I think helped contribute to the calm feeling. I spent a lot of time in this room just looking out the window and absorbing the energy before continuing the tour.

Asian Wing

ART AND CORE VALUES: Interesting enough, this piece was called Family by Agustin Cardenas. Family is one of my core values, even more so since coming to UF. I think I value the time I spend at home, especially with my grandparents, more because I don't see them as much. I like this piece a lot because it represents how a family can have its own individuals and still be connected. It also resembles how the parents are enclosing the child, as most parents do with their kids. I think one thing to note that may be overlooked is there are no genders represented in this artwork. The only thing we can gather as viewers is that they are a family and they all seem to care about and love one another. Especially in the culture and time we are in, I think we need more pieces like this that focus on concepts rather than the materialistic things in life.

Family (1991)

ART AND THE GOOD LIFE: This piece is called Funeral by Stuart Robert Purser. I had a different piece for this part of the Spark Story initially, but just before leaving the museum, I stopped and sat down in front of this painting. I stared at it for a good 5 minutes, just taking it in and thinking about it. The summary on this painting mentioned the artist was part of a minority family and witnessed how class separation resulted in inequality. He wanted to convey that simple things, like funerals, were universal and the meanings behind these events were more important than the things left behind. To me, this looks like the good life. Having the people who really, truly cared about you celebrating your life and honoring you for who you were and not for what you had. This, to me, depicts true respect and honor. It shows me that the little things in life, things like spending time with my grandparents or making strong bonds with friends, are more valuable than anything else. It's not the brightest or happiest painting, but it held a ton of meaning.

funeral (1945)

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