discovering a good life The harn museum of art

On November 22, 2016, I had the opportunity to visit the Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art. During this specific visit, I focused solely on what constitutes a good life, both artistically and architecturally. Within the 40,000 square feet museum, as well as the surrounding exterior, I took the time to resonate on what qualifies as a good life, and I am excited to share this experience with you!

This first piece is a prime example of an artist's unique style and technique. Artist, Melanie Smith has lived in Mexico City, photographed here, since 1989. According to the background card, it has been her focus to capture minute details and panoramas of urban areas. What struck me specifically was her attention to abstract and architectural detail. The piece is not just a photograph. Instead, looking closely it is noticeable that there are several photographs and mirrored images seamlessly put together. After studying the piece, I noticed that the abstract focus creates a departure from the hustle of urban life. When in a city, everything is moving at such a fast pace. Instead of highlighting that here, Smith tries to put an end to stressful city life by illustrating the effects of materialism. Smith does an excellent job displaying her personal style in this piece, and I found it very compelling.

Considering the design of the museum, the exterior was by far my favorite part. More specifically, the Asian Water Garden was a place of tranquility. I find gardens such as this one shown above far more relaxing than being inside surrounded by white walls and paintings. The garden was home to several Asian plant species and served as the backdrop for the Cofrin Asian Art Wing. In addition, there was a waterfall that provided peaceful background noise that eliminated nearby traffic sounds. The attention to detail and the overall environment was what made the Asian Water Garden the best location on the museum property. It reminded me personally the importance of slowing down and taking time to relax when things seem the most complex.

I must say, this was one of my favorite pieces of the museum. When I saw this illustration it immediately reminded me of rural communities and the agricultural industry. Some core values that I have held dear for many years is the focus on and appreciate life's simpler things. Not to mention the agriculturist aspect, but also the fine detail in the design of the barn. This barn is symmetrical, and surrounded by soft colors that show simplicity. The artist, Emilio Sanchez is known for his emphasis on patterns, bold colors, and contrasts of light, and all of that can be seen here in his piece titled, Casita al mar (Little House By The Sea). In addition, this piece reminds me of several barns scattered throughout Marion County, which makes appreciating this piece a lot more meaningful.

Wrapping up my visit at the Harn, I came across this photograph shot by Catherine Opie. When I saw this piece, I knew that it constituted a good life. This picture was taken in New York City highlighting Wall Street. Now you might be asking how does a building in New York City illustrate a good life? In the 1800's my father's great grandparents immigrated to New York from Europe. This picture not only focuses on architecture, but opportunity. It shows the economic and financial institutions that were available for Americans in the past, as well as the present. America was made for opportunity and advancements, and that is what constitutes a good life for millions.

Created By
Sierra Smith
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