Good Life Tour: Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art Blake Strickland

Medium / Technique

The optical illusion below greeted me at the entrance of the museum, and I spent quite a few minutes gazing at it. I mean it when I say pictures do not do this artwork justice, because it entails a physical perspective that only the human eye can provide. The central keyhole augmented by the randomized color scheme and fading stripe pattern creates an illusion that blurs the vision of the beholder upon any subtle movement. I was able to appreciate its magnificence until my roommate finally had me move along; in my opinion, the artwork appears so striking because it forces the viewer to glare at the keyhole, further amplifying his/her imagination. Whether it is a door to clarity or a gate to discovery is entirely up to interpretation!

Design of the Museum

The Harn Museum comprised many sectors, each with a different themed design. I personally found the African Masquerades exhibit to be the most alluring, because it had the most diversity of all the museum's wings. I thought the statues, the portraits, and most of all the masks were interesting because they are the most significant deviations from any other form of art displayed. Belief in elusive spirits along with other cultural traditions led to the unique works' creations. The presentation of the quaint artwork follows a pattern of simplicity; the masks in the glass displays and the portraits with their brief descriptions of origin mutually enhance the subtle yet meaningful exposition.

Core Values

The artwork below struck me in a more emotional way than did the others. SebastiĆ£o Salgado's photograph depicts a massive labor movement in Brazil during a time of growing industry. Reflecting on the apparent working conditions, I was hit with a strong sensation of egoism, feeling that I don't appreciate my daily life as much as I should. I relate this picture to my core value of personal acknowledgment: I do not want to look back at something I took advantage of, because I would rather stop myself in my tracks. Heavy-lifting should not be solely assigned to such a widespread group of laborers, and the issue of these terrible conditions persists around the world today. With my newfound recognition, I promise to dedicate a portion of my future time to ridding the world of harsh working conditions, overuse of labor, and underpayment.

Good Life

My friend to left of me brings up the Good Life theme of fair complacency. His vibrant apparel, amazing hat, and lively pose (which I imitated) remind me to not to miss out on the little pleasures that everyday life delivers. He communicates gratification not only through his outward expression, but also through his cultural background. Betwixt the African Masquerades exhibit, he comes from a wave of African fashion where he would be worshipped by means of an intense stepping dance influenced by rapid drumming (a video was provided on the screen behind me). Thanks to my friend, I have a new perspective on attaining the Good Life!

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