The Good Life Tour of the Harn Museum of Art By: Kayleigh Rosen

Medium of the Art / Technique of the Artist:

This piece is called "Islandia, Goddess of the Healing Waters" by Audrey Flack

When I first entered the museum, I was drawn to this piece because of the way the artist used gold and polychrome, which is a material I was not familiar with. The size of the piece was also very impressive and the strength in the women's face was striking to me. The gold on the women makes her seem powerful and resembles a type of goddess.

This piece immediately communicated power because of many reasons. The pose of the women is not a "natural" stance. With one food forward and one hand up, she seems like she has authority over anyone who walks in front of her, which is most of the museum-goers. She also is wearing a gold dress, which symbolizes power and prestige in art; Gold is typically a very expensive material, only saved for the elite, especially in ancient greek society (which was the artist's inspiration for this statue).

After reading the plaque by the piece, I found out that my feelings were right. The artist, Audrey Flack, was going for the main themes of power and elegance through the use of her materials and the size of the sculpture. She aims to restore the balance of power between men and women, which is very well done with the use of gold. Gold is a powerful material and color.

The art made me feel and agree with Flack; women are powerful people too and we can be leaders and "worshipped" in society too. The art gave me the feeling of pride because I am a women, and I am proud of that.

Just from seeing the piece in person, I was able to see how the size and the bright color of the women's dress added to the artist's vision and meaning behind the work. This material was impressive to me and the tall podium which held the statue so high up made her look very impressive from below.

Design of the Museum:

The Asian Art Wing's Garden, Harn Museum of Art

The Asian Art Wing's Garden was the wing of the Harn museum that I found to be most appealing. I love being outdoors and I love nature, so being able to go outdoors in a museum was amazing to me. I loved the fresh air and that the area was enclosed only by glass, so I could look back inside at the other Asian art while I was enjoying the outdoors.

I also liked how the Harn gave you a guide to look at the different plants and flowers in the exhibit. I enjoyed learning new things about nature and I got to play "eye spy" with the various plants and trees with my friends. In the picture above, I was posing in front of the Japanese Maple tree that we found!

I loved this part of the wing and how it included the bridge to the outdoor area. The bridge reminded me of a similar bridge I have by my house at home and it made me feel nostalgic of when I used to meet my friends there as a kid. The bridge brought back happy memories and also a calming feeling. It was in a perfect shaded location where one could sit for a long time and look at the beautiful plants and Asian art, through the glass.

This wing was definitely my favorite. From the lighting of the sun to the beautiful smelling plants and the laughs with my friends, this is where most of my memories from the Harn were at.

Art and Core Values:

This art piece is called "Frida Kahlo at ABC Hospital, Fed by a Nurse" by Juan Guzman

This work represents one of my core values, helping others. When someone in need or someone genuinely asks for help, I believe that we should do everything in our ability to help one another. I believe that good things happen to those who do good to others. I believe that community service and helping others plays a key role in how people act towards you and that helping others should benefit others more than it benefits yourself; being selfless is important.

This image of Frida Kahlo showed a good representation of that core value I have. In the image, Frida is unable to feed herself and she is in need. Someone else, who is able to help Frida, is helping her eat while Frida lays in a hospital bed. This shows the goodness in one's heart and that helping others is an everyday kindness that should be taught.

This made me understand that helping others can go deeper than just community service and fundraising, since the women in the image, dressed in a nurse's uniform (who is helping Frida), has devoted her life and career path to helping others, which is something I now admire more than I already did.

She is in a nurse's uniform and the image is taken in a hospital, so I assume she is a nurse at the ABC Hospital Frida is at. To be a nurse is one of the few careers that is solely designed to help others without any significant benefit to oneself, which now I have learned to admire more.

The image instills a sense of motivation in me, to keep my core value in mind everyday. Although I am not a nurse or in the medical field yet, I still plan to help others at least once everyday and after analyzing this image, it has sparked this motivation.

This helps me believe that there are others in the world that also believe helping others is important. I'm not alone when I think that being nice is a common curtesy, which is a good feeling to have after looking at this image. This nurse, all the way from Mexico, is devoted to helping people, which makes me cherish my core value of helping others.

Art and the Good Life:

This artwork is titled: "St.Jean's Bay" by Leon Kroll

This artwork conveyed the Good Life themes of simplicity and nature, which are two main topics we have been discussing in class.

In this piece, there are people laying along the side of a river in a land where there are small homes and plenty of grass to farm all around the land. The simplicity of the scene made me feel calm as soon as I looked at it. The simplicity of nature and how the people feel so relaxed by just laying in the grass shows that they can have a "good life" without all of the distractions of technology we have in this decade.

The Good Life is seen in this piece by placing people in a calming nature scene without any fighting or distractions. The people are able to do as they please and they can be self-sufficient in the land they have around them. They are living life simplistically and they seem to have reached a sense of calmness and serenity, which is depicted in the painting and in the human's facial expressions.

The theme of simplicity allows one to find themselves in nature, which is a place that is calm to begin with, so by emerging yourself in nature and water, you allow yourself to enter the peaceful place, which is what it happening in Kroll's painting. This adds to my understanding and appreciation of living simplistically.

Almost unattainable in today's decade, living simplistically, away from technology and social media in particular, would be very hard for most people, including myself. The painting shows people relaxed by the river without any "toys" to play with, except the grass and the water. This would only be relaxing for a short time, until I would need to check my phone for an unread message or email.

The scene gives me an appreciation of how some people take out the material things life and are able to find themselves in nature and without distractions. I thought this painting was a good representation of the Good Life themes we have discussed thus far in class, as well as an eye catching piece of art.

This concludes my trip to the Harn Museum of Art!

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Kayleigh Rosen

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