Cover photo by the University of Florida. source: https://www.uff.ufl.edu/Facilities/Facilities.asp?id=108
Medium of the Art / Technique of the Artist: I was vastly fascinated with this piece because it was extremely unique and not like the other artworks that I encountered at the Harn. This Gola mask from western Africa is a ceremonial mask that was believed to fend off evil spells and transform whoever is wearing it into the embodiment of the Sande spirit. Seeing this mask in person helped me understand the dynamics of it. I was able to visually see the thickness of the black fibers from all dimensions. Experiencing this piece in person helped me appreciate the amount of work that was put into making this creation. I was extremely struck by the use of the black fibers that were used to mimic hair. At first, I thought that real hair was used in this piece. When studying this piece, the deep cultural beliefs of the Gola people were expressed. This is an exquisite and meticulous piece and therefore, must of been very important to the Gola people. This piece of artwork made me feel out of my element. Art like this is incredibly foreign to me and provokes my thoughts about other cultures and social environments.
Design of the Museum: The entrance to the Asian art exhibit was appealing to me because its design was completely different from the rest of the museum. Unlike the rest of the museum, the Asian art entrance used wood on its walls and displayed pieces such as vases and plates instead of painting and sculptures. Also the layout of the white stands that contrast with the dark wood was asthetically appealing to me. This exhibit made me feel refreshed because it displayed pieces that one may not consider as art, such as bowls, vases, plates, and cups. It was refreshing to see something that I could relate to and use in my everyday life. The pieces were very organized in the displays which helped me relate them with one another.
Art and Core Values: Scenographer's Mind VIII by Eija-liisa Ahitla appeals to my core values of being able to have a career and a family as a women. Ahitla depicts a women who is simultaneously caring for her newborn and working. I've always been very focused on my education growing up and the stigma of being a women who has a career and an family occurred to me in my high school years. Even today, there is a negative outlook on women who do not choose to pause their career in order to raise their children. Some still expect women to be the main caregiver in the household. I want to be able to defy that outlook and be able to successfully have both. Having a family is extremely important to me but having a career is just as desirable. This picture invokes emotions of hope and courage. It reminds me that it is possible to have a career and raise children even. The photograph helps me understand that it will be a challenging journey, but it will be worth it in the end.
Art and the Good Life: This sculpture of Buddha that was created in Gandhara and conveys the Good Life theme of Achieving the Good Life. As a class, we have not yet covered the Theme of "Achieving the Good Life", but from the past themes studied, it is obvious the the Good Life must be achieved internally. This sculpture is made of stucco and traces of polychrome. Originally, the sculptures right palm would be facing outwards, a hand symbol that is called mudra, that represents reassurance. In Siddartha, we learned that the Guatamala Buddha reached "The Good Life" through enlightenment. In this artwork, Buddha is at sitting at a position that represents reassurance which reminds me that the Good Life must come from within and inner peace.