Tour of the Harn by Jacob Shoop

Technique of the Artist

Sheep Wranglers by Justine Kurland

This picture, Sheep Wranglers by Justine Kurland, caught my eye as soon as I glanced over and saw it near the corner of the first exhibit I walked into, the modern art exhibit. Clearly this isn't a painting or a drawing but is a picture, unlike many of the other works in the exhibit and throughout the museum. However, that does not make its impact or its feel any different for me. The photographer took this picture at the perfect time in order to make such a beautiful piece. When I looked at this image, I immediately felt a sense of peace and tranquility come over me, as if I had just walked into this scene and was able to just lay in the grass next to the sheep and under the shade of the large tree just like the schoolgirls. It communicated to me thoughts of more peaceful times and relaxing times. In context, seeing this picture meant a lot to me because I viewed it right after the results of the election were released, and I saw and heard the worst arguments and name-calling between people I consider my friends. Watching all this tension and bitterness that so many seemed to hold toward one another made me long for something peaceful in order to get away from the world for a little while, and seeing this picture helped me to do just that.

Design of the museum

When I walked into the Harn, I was taken aback by how well the museum was designed, and how nice everything looked. I could tell immediately that every exhibit would be designed masterfully, with special care taken to what each exhibit intended to represent, in order to fully enhance the effect of each piece of art. However, when I walked into the Asian Art Wing, I knew that my favorite setup was here. When one walks in, they immediately see a few grand pieces of art resting on the ground, with the garden and waterfall in the background of the whole exhibit. It seemed to me that light from the Sun is what lit the whole room, as well as the light reflecting off the water outside in the garden. Most of the room remained fairly empty, so that people had plenty of room to walk around and gaze at their favorite works of art without disturbing those around them, which is just what the room called for in my opinion. The room and the art called for each person to take their own meaning from the art and the space around them, and that idea was executed masterfully. I felt at peace as soon as I walked in, and I knew I could dive deep into the art, the nature, and my own thoughts without being disturbed by any outside influences. This made the Asian Art Wing my favorite exhibit of all.

Art and core values

Scenographer's Mind VIII by Eija Liisa Ahtila

While a case for most of the art shown in the Harn could be made to have shown some of my core values, I chose Scenographer's Mind VIII. This picture shows a mother working hard at her job in architecture, while also raising a child. While it seems to be a very simple picture of a mother hard at work, to me it shows the importance of raising children, and how the mother seems to value providing for her child above all else. She clearly wants the best for her child, and is willing to work while raising him/her in order to make sure that their life is the best it could possibly be. When I first looked at this picture and understood what was being conveyed, I felt a strange sense of pride for this woman. Obviously I have never met her, and never will, as this is a very old picture, but I felt proud for her doing the right thing. I didn't feel any personal pride, like I had accomplished anything, but pride for her for working through so much of her life not for her own benefit, but for the benefit of those she cares about. I think the sacrifice of the self for others is extremely important, and this picture represents why I think that value is so important, and shows that value in action. It helps me to understand just how much people would sacrifice for those whom they love, and gives me hope that someday I will do the same for those I love.

art and the good life

Kawrkos Camp, Northern Iraq, August 20, 2013, by Lynsey Addario

Often, when I sit in class during the lectures for What is the Good Life, I feel that I already have the good life, and there really isn't a need to discuss what it means to have the good life any further. I feel this way especially when I think of those who aren't as fortunate as I am, such as the people in this picture. These people are waiting for food in a war camp in Iraq. Flushed out of their homes because of the war, with nowhere else to go and nowhere else go eat, they are forced to wait in massive crowds for the chance at some food in order to feed their families. However, the more I think about it, the more I realize that living the good life isn't just about being personally comfortable in living. It's about helping those who aren't as fortunate as we are out of their poor situations and into better ones. For example, I shouldn't be content with my life just because I am comfortable in living, while there are others like the people in this picture who wonder where their next meal will come from, if it comes at all. Instead, I should be motivated to help these people improve the quality of their life, even if it comes at the cost of the quality of my own. This piece made me aware of the flaws in my own thinking, and gave me the inspiration to improve that thinking and hopefully make some positive change in the world. That is exactly what living the good life is all about.

Works Cited

"UF Named Facilities." Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art. University of Florida, n.d. Web. 09 Nov. 2016.

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