Good Life Tour at the Harn Museum Written by Michael Marfori


A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to visit the University of Florida's Samuel P. Harn Museum with two of my friends, Angelica and Sara. While visiting the Harn, I was greatly inspired by the many works of art presented. Each piece made me feel a certain type of way, whether it was happiness, grief, wonder, or anger. I always enjoy touring museums and admiring artwork, so visiting the Harn Museum was incredible.

Medium of the Art/Technique of the Artist:

Left: Image of sculpture, Pli Selon Pli, taken from; Right: Image of Angelica (right), Sara (back), and me (left) in front of the sculpture at the Harn Museum

The sculpture in the images above is entitled Pli Selon Pli, which was created by Japanese artist, Yo Akiyama, in 2002. The very rough and jagged artwork was created entirely out of ceramics. Pli Selon Pli really stood out to me in the museum. The texture varied along the surface of the sculpture, starting off smooth and turning into rough edges. I was also overwhelmed by the length and size of the sculpture. My initial thoughts when I saw Pli Selon Pli were What is it? What was the process of creating it? What inspired the artist to create this piece of artwork? I related the sculpture back to life in general. We are born pure, starting off with a clean, smooth surface. Each crack and wrinkle on the sculpture represent our new experiences. As we grow older, we are introduced to new things (both good and bad). The sculpture started to give me a nostalgic feeling. While admiring it, I began to reflect on my own life. Even though we don't realize it, we are aging quickly. Currently, I am in the middle of still being a teenager and becoming an adult. In a few years, my childhood will be ending and I will be entering adulthood, which means taking on more responsibilities than I would like to. If I were to relive my preadolescent and adolescent years, I would try not to anticipate adulthood and keep my mind set on my youth. You have your whole life to be an adult, but you have only a limited amount of time to be a kid.

Design of the Museum:

Image of Angelica, Sara, and me standing in front of the "Women's Wedding Ensemble"

The layout of the Intra-Action: Women Artists exhibit really intrigued me. This great exhibit really caught my eye because of the large amount of space within the museum. All of the artwork were scattered around the walls of the room, which created a vast space within the middle. I enjoyed this wing of the museum because the bright, vibrant colors of the artwork contrasted with the white walls, which really made all the pieces pop. I also liked how this exhibit celebrated the work of talented female artists. Throughout history and still to this day, men and women have been treated unequally; women don't get the same rights and privileges that men do. Although gender equality has greatly improved since then, it is important to celebrate the accomplishments and success of women.

Art and Core Values:

Left: Image of the sculpture, "Islandia, Goddess of the Healing Waters"; Right: Image of Angelica, Sara, and me posing in front of the statue

Pictured above is the sculpture, Islandia, Goddess of the Healing Waters, created by Audrey Flack. This piece was made entirely out of polychrome and gilded plaster. According to the description, the statue represents democratic issues of gender equality. With this sculpture, Flack was aiming to balance the power between men and women. Flack positioned Islandia, Goddess of the Healing Waters with her hands extends her arms outward to gesture social healing and regeneration. This piece of artwork represents one of my core values, equality. All people should be treated as equals. I believe that we would have a better and kinder society if everyone was treated the same. This sculpture gave me a feeling of happiness because it represented justice for women. It also helped me better understand the importance of fighting for justice and standing up for what I believe in. When you see or hear something that you don't agree with, make sure to speak up and be heard.

Art and the Good Life:

Image of Sara and me in front of the painting, "Tokyo Street with Pachinko Parlor II"

The oil painting above is entitled Tokyo Street with Pachinko Parlor II. According to the description, the picture is of a busy city scene, and pachinko parlor in Tokyo is a crazy, colorful arcade where players try to win a game that's a combination of a pinball machine and a video slot machine. I believe that this painting accurately represents what the good life means to me. It represents the theme of celebration through the vibrant color schemes and the situation within the picture. Life is never "black and white"; it is always full of color. Each color depicts people and certain situations that make you unique and stand out. Life can also be busy and chaotic at times, but we have to learn how to make the best of it. That is how we can truly achieve the good life.

Created By
Michael Marfori


Created with images by jared422_80 - "Gainesville - Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art"

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