Harn Museum of Art By: Emilee Swanson

Medium of the art: This Okakagbe Masquerade Costume made by Lawrence Ajanaku perfectly exemplifies how important it is to see art in person. It makes such a difference because it allows one to see the piece in detail. This costume is constructed with layer upon layer of intricate fabrics that can not be fully appreciated unless seen up close. So much work went into this costume and this can be shown not only by the material it is made up of, but by the story behind it. This beautiful costume was used in a performance in Nigeria where people would dress up as different retainers. These retainers were spirits of the forests as believed by the Nigerian people.

Design of the museum: This section of the museum made an impact on me just by how it was set up. By placing a bench in the middle of four walls covered in art, it allows the spectator to immerse themselves in each and every piece. When I sat down I was able to just relax and actually appreciate the works. I feel that by having a place to sit, it insinuates the idea to take one's time and look at the art for as long as you want. Also, the four walls made me feel as if i was almost a part of the art. I was surrounded by countless paintings and photos and it was a really interesting and new way to look at all of them.

Art and core values: At first glance I knew that this section of the Harn Museum was going to mean something to me. Every piece in this part resonated with me. This strong message of feminism can relate to not only the art, but to many parts of life. Feminism is a hot topic in the media and this just reflects that. Equality is one of the most important things in life, and the idea that men and women should be equal is supported by these pieces. These were created by a group of women known as the Guerrilla Girls who avidly supported equal gender representation throughout the 1980's.

Art and the good life: This statue was created by Audrey Flack. She is known for being inspired by the idea of democracy and society's effect on women. This particular statue is known as "Islanda, Goddess of the Healing Waters". This piece of art inspires the viewer to try and live a better life. All lives are filled with some hardships and fall backs but that doesn't mean that we can't pick ourselves up again. This statue in particular helps us to believe in the idea of healing and restoration. I believe it also creates a sense in a higher power, which to may is the ultimate good life, because it gives off a sort of holy message with the angel like wings.

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