The Harn Museum of Art By Pat Hood

Medium of the art

Photo of bazin from Mali

It cannot be easily seen in the picture but the bazin has a very unique look to it. It almost reflects some light to give it a shine under the right lighting. The information board for this bazin explained that the people who make these are celebrated in Mali because they are proud to make this cloth that cannot be replicated anywhere else. At first I didn't realize it but this simple cloth, as it appeared to me at first, is actually a very important aspect of the culture in West Africa, specifically Mali. It made me feel that an artist who wants it in a museum know that most people won't know the significance of it so it won't come off as spectacular to the average American but anyone that knows what it actually is will appreciate it more. Seeing this made me feel like the artist is trying to speak to a certain group of people if their intentions were for it to be in a museum. And even if some people value this bazin they can only guess as to what the original creator was trying to do with the design and color of the piece.

Design of museum

Photo of a guord

Once I found my way to the other wings of the museum, I walked into the abstract art exhibit and felt like it was perfectly made. There were not many pieces of art in this exhibit compared to the other exhibits but it had much more space than the other ones. Abstract art is itneresting because you have to put yourself in the artist's shoes to try to understand the meaning of the art. Sicne this area had so much open space it felt like they intentially wanted museum goers to see the art from all different angles and perspectives. The way that the art was placed also seemed like a perfect fit for the wing that housed abstract art. Some pieces were on the wall but others were placed in the middle of the room. This is another example of giving you the opportunity to see it from all different angles so you can fully experience what your are looking at.

Art and core values

Photo of a buffalo mask worn by the Nunuma people of Burkina Faso

This piece was appealing to me because it was something that would be used in religious rituals and traditions. I don't necesarrily have those same beliefs or even know what situations masks like this were used but I do appreciate that people across the world follow so many different belief systems and we can all relate to each other. This mask reminded me of my own religion and I realized that there could be a cross on display and it would be of the same significance of this mask. I think that the choice to put items like this in the exhibit is reall cool because it reminds you to stay open minded and accept people for who they are and not dismiss any significance that their traditions and beliefs have. I would say that I felt hopeful after seeing this because I know that many other people probably had a similar experience and if that makes the world a better place then I am happy.

art and the good life

Photo of a Buddhist Plaque

This Buddhist plaque really made me think about some of the topics we have discussed throughout class so far. If you look closely, you can see a swastika on the plaque. What immediately comes to mind when I see a swastika is Nazi Germany and all the horrible things that they did but the swastika was never a symbol associated with hate before WWII. The word swastika in its original language actually means "good fortune" and the symbol still has the same meaning to many people. Just like Kevin Conolly went through, what some people say something is, whether its good or bad, does not necesarilly determine the true meaning of it. He felt normal but other people did not see him that way. He chose to ignore this because he knew the truth and I feel like the swastika has a similar situation. Yes, it is recognized more often than not as the Nazi symbol but religions that do not see it as that can't let society's idea of something change what they know to be true.

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