Tour of the Harn by: AKshay Bhogaita

The statue of Islandia, Goddess of the Healing Waters was an incredible sight to see. Aubrey Flack incorporated techniques that many life size statues don't encompass. When I first saw this work, the work of ancient Greece came to mind. Even though Flack used a completely different medium than the greeks used, the similarities are still evident. The polychrome and gilded plaster medium is strange because to a viewers eyes it seems like a marble statue. The folds in the clothes expresses the talent of the artist and the medium's abilities. The artist gives it a more modern feel by using the medium that she used but she borrowed techniques from ancient art. The attribute the struck me was the use of proportions and bright colors within the clothing on the statue. This work of art helped me better understand the motive of the artist by presenting the statue as a healing figure thats seeking the restore the balance of power between men and women, it made me feel a sense of positivity and optimism.
The design of the museum is a vital aspect of the level of enjoyment experienced by viewers. Architecture techniques, lighting, and overall orientation of the museum is very important to its success. The lobby of the Harn Museum was most appealing to myself primarily because of its lighting. As soon as you walk in, if you look up by the ceiling there are windows that allow natural light to come in. The combination of the natural light and lightbulbs allows a museum visitor to truly feel energized when walking into the Harn. The numerous windows makes a huge difference in the look of the museum because it is directly related to how one views the art. In the exhibits, there was dim overhead lighting to let the viewer see the artworks with ease and to see the detail accurately. The Harn lobby was spacious and clean with a large abstract sculpture in the middle which allowed me to feel free and in the mood to explore. Within the wings in the museum, there was artwork arranged neatly on the walls and sculptures placed in the middle of the walkways. The arrangement of the lobby allows the audience to wonder what is behind the doors where all the exhibits are. I felt a sense of curiosity before entering the actual exhibits due to the arrangement and feel of the lobby.
Art often is made with the intentions to make a difference in society or represent society in an accurate way. This work speaks volumes about how women feel about their place in society. This artwork titled "The Advantages of being a Woman Artist" is a strong representation one of my core values: equality. The artist simply presents the audience with a list of advantages that women have in the art world. This work is a simple black and white print but it truly spoke out to me. The Guerilla Girls public service concentrated on societal issues such as social, racial, and gender inequality. These three issues mean a lot to me because I strive everyday for a more equal and fair world and the fact that women made this artwork to empower themselves is a shame because it means they feel inferior to men and feel the need to lift up other women. This relates to me because my mother is from Uganda and in 1972 when their ruler kicked out all indians (especially women) my mother struggled. Indian men were superior to women at the time that they were kicked out of Uganda because men could provide more work and contributed more to the nations economy. I don't think that it is fair that women are so often downgraded just because of their gender when many of them are capable of doing the same tasks that men do. This work instills frustration in me because even though the work is from 1988, it can still be a representation of women today. This work helps me better understand the techniques that were used to eradicate discrimination against women in the late 80s.
A work in the Harn Museum that strongly conveys the Good Life theme is the oil on canvas work by Palmer Hayden known as "Southern Seamster". Palmer Hayden's sole purpose of this work was to provide inspiration for African American artists to cherish their culture and continue to produce works related to African Folk Culture. This work strongly evokes the theme of confidence and pride because it fostered a new African identity during the 1920s and 1930s which was the Harlem Renaissance. The Harlem Renaissance was a time of artistic explosion by predominantly African American artists. This work represents the empowerment of blacks at the time and is a representation of the overall African American community succeeding. The increase in negro pride at the time was significant because it uplifted the status of their society and it inspired blacks to work hard and become what the arts represent. The plethora of arts at the time is a strong determinant that most people were happy and doing what they truly love while getting steps closer to the Good Life. This adds to my understanding of the good life because it was a time of African American enlightenment and it allowed them to gain ethnic pride and learn their true cultural identity.

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