Good Life Tour of the Harn Steven Ferguson


"The Grove" by Carl Robert Holty in 1948

This piece of abstract art, The Grove, by Carl Robert Holty was very intriguing to me and struck me when I saw it. When I see a piece of artwork similar to this online or in magazines, they normally strike me as just a blob of nonsense, but inspecting this one in person changed my perspective. I found this technique so striking because the artist was able to convey a message without actually drawing any identifiable objects. The abstract leaves the viewer with the ability to view and understand their own meaning of the artwork, which gives it that uniqueness that almost every other painting does not have. To me, the artist portrays the spacing and areas that define the work of many other artists, especially from around his time period in the mid 1900s, through the use of many shapes and blending of colors. This artwork made me feel a lot more open and able to more easily open up. I felt this way because this artwork allowed me to open up and accept it for truly being a piece of art, whereas a couple of years ago I may have said something very critical of how it just looks like someone wiped paint all over the canvas.


A panorama of the contemporary exhibit in the Harn museum of art

The wing of the museum that I found the most interesting and appealing was the contemporary wing. The contemporary area is the first part you walk into when you begin your tour and it is gigantic. It is by far the biggest area in terms of height and depth, as well as it is definitely one of the bigger rooms, if not the biggest. I think that I felt this wing was the best area because of the sheer size of the room. I took the overly gigantic size (I don't believe any of the exhibits were remotely close to the gigantic ceiling) as a metaphor for how big art is becoming and how widely it is being appreciated. Contemporary art is the art that is made today and so I think this room was so massive because the art today is being produced at a much faster rate than some of the older exhibits' artwork. I also think the use of the fancy purple lights hanging from the ceiling symbolizes how much more advanced the techniques used to create art are today, rather than they were a hundred years ago. This exhibit made me feel slightly overwhelmed at first because of how big it was at first, but once I got settled into the room and started examining all of the artwork and different wings of the museum, I thought the layout of the room was very significant and well done.

Core Values

"Seated Bodhisattva" by Joseon Dynasty in the 17th Century

This artwork relates to my core value of enjoying life and making sure you do something you love. This piece of artwork allows me to connect to my core value of enjoying your life because it has the image of a Buddha, which symbolizes achieving enlightenment and remaining happy, while the little "rock on" symbol that the Buddha is making also reaches out to me deeply. This means to me that the Buddha is trying to achieve enlightenment and become eternally happy or content and the Buddha is enjoying itself while it does that. I see a Buddha that isn't starving himself or struggling to punish himself to achieve enlightenment, rather I see a Buddha that is enjoying the challenge and pursuit of achieving enlightenment, which is what I think life is all about. This artwork instills a lot of happiness in me, as well as some motivation. I feel happy because that is the goal that I want people to pursue and that is what I believe the artist is trying to convey in this artwork. I also feel motivated because I see a Buddha that is pursuing a happy life and one that he enjoys and will always enjoy. This motivates me to pursue the same sort of lifestyle as that Buddha. I think that this better understands my value because it allows me to view it from an outside perspective. Seeing someone or something else that is trying to stay happy while pursuing their life goal is beneficial to see.

Good Life

"Casita al mar (Little House by the Sea)" by Emilio Sanchez in 1974

This piece of artwork displays the good life theme of seeking. For me, this displays seeking because I see this picture as seeking out a house and life similar to the one depicted in the picture. In this picture I see a small house that looks to be in a peaceful and secluded area. I've always sought to have a small cottage house on the beach where I don't have to deal with tons of kids running around, tons of traffic from a nearby main road or highway or somewhere with lots of pollution and deforestation. This picture reminds me of seeking for the good life, or at least seeking for that peaceful home where I can settle down and retire or visit to relax on vacations. It adds to my understanding of the theme because I can relate my own experience of seeking to the good life theme of seeking for the good life. My seeking and desire to have this nice small home is the same sort of desire as pursuing and achieving the good life.


All photos were taken by myself

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