Today, I toured the Harn Museum of Art in Gainseville, Florida. I toured different exhibits such as the Asian art wing, the African art wing, the Modern art wing, and many more. I learned a lot about the different kinds of artwork there are such as sculptures and paintings and the different techniques used by different types of art. I also learned about different cultures and how each culture has artwork that makes them different, but all of the artwork have elements that they share. It showed me how universal art is and how it is used and created all over the world. Overall, it was an amazing experience.
"Untitled" by John Chambers taken by Prajakta Kulkarni
Medium of the Art/Technique of the Artist
In the front of the Harn musum, there was a oval sculpture called Untitled by John Chambers that looked like a wrinkled paper with color. Through pictures, the sculpture looks 2D and I am not fully able to appreciate the detailed colors in the sculpture. Seeing it in person, I could see that it was 3D and had a lot of intricate folds and colors. I really liked how the artist made a sculpture instead of painting it because it was more intriguing to be as a sculpture than it would have been as a painting. It communicated the complexity of the simplest things to me. Even though it looked like a simple piece of paper crumpled up, I was able to appreciate the complexity of the folds and the colors on the big sculpture. It made me feel like I don't stop to admire the simplest things in life as often as I should.
"Untitled" taken by Prajakta Kulkarni
Design of the Museum
The African exhibit of the museum was the most appealing to me because the different sculptures from the different countries were so vastly different from each other, but still shared certain elements. For example, the sculptures from China were very nature based and had a lot of trees and other elements in nature carved into stone whereas the sculptures from India were more religion based and were mostly statues and paintings of different gods and goddesses. However, they still shared elements such as they were both carved from stone, and both show the history of the country that they were from. I also enjoyed how the art was arranged by country in different parts of the room and the exhibit made me feel like I was visiting the history for each country in a different part of the room.
"Asian Art Wing" taken by Prajakta Kulkarni
Art and Core Values:
In the Asian exhibit of the Harn, one of the artworks that appealed to my core values was a statue of dancing Ganesha from India made of black stone from the 13th century. Being a Hindu, one of my core values is keeping in touch with my religion and the visual representation of one of the gods helps me to keep in touch with my religion. I have a small statue of Ganesha at my house, but seeing a bigger version in a museum representing the history of India just connects me even more to everything I have known about my religion. It also makes me feel more connected because something I believe in today is also believed in by someone halfway across the world whom I have never met and lived 8 centuries before me. It makes me feel like if nothing else, we share the collective religious experience of believing in the same gods and goddesses, and religion transcends time, location, distance, and color.
"Dancing Ganesha" taken by Prajakta Kulkarni
Art and the Good Life
One piece of art that was particularly intriguing to me was called "Overlook Mountain, Woodstock, New York" by Ernest Fiene. The piece shows a landscape of trees and mountains with beautiful colors. I think it conveys the theme of celebrating the good life. The theme of celebrating the good life is about how celebrations of the good life are universal to a particular time, place, and audience. To me, nature is universal because no matter who we are, we live on the same Earth and enjoy the same nature, breathe the same air, look at the same trees, etc. While our location may change, ultimately, we are all residing on the same planet Earth. It adds to my appreciation for the theme because I know I get caught up in my daily life a lot of times and don't stop to appreciate the universality of nature and how it adds to my good life. Without it, I would not be alive and I don't appreciate it as much as I should. I also don't appreciate the coexistence of all living things in nature as much as I should. Without the flawless coexistence, our good life would be hindered and I think that when I celebrate the good life, I should also celebrate the coexistence of the nature around me.