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Introduction
It is prudent for every society to preserve its culture and heritage in order to share it with future generations. Importantly, films, museums, and theatres are proven ways through which past artefacts can be shown. Noteworthy, museums have an advantage over the rest since they are able to showcase the physical artefacts, portraits, sculpture, and paintings. I visited the Tampa Museum of Art on 26th June 2016 in order to explore some of the greatest paintings, drawings, and sculptures in the world.
Tampa Museum of Art is located in Tampa, Florida. Specifically, it is built along Tampa’s Riverwalk on the banks of Hillsborough River. Majorly, it exhibits contemporary and modern art. Moreover, it has a wide collection of ancient Greek, Roman, and Etruscan antiques. Normally, the museum opens on all the weekdays from 11 am until 7 pm. The entry cost to the museum is $10 for adults, $ 7.5 for seniors, members of the military, and educators, $5 for children, and free for kids under six years.
Most of the top floors of the museum are wrapped using a perforated metal skin and cantilevers. In addition to this, the building is designed as two major blocks that are adjacent to each other. The first block contains public areas of the museum while the other portion has curatorial facilities and offices. Importantly, the museum also has a café on the first level, which is called the Sono café. Similarly, it has a bookstore along the river walk. This café provides visitors with an ideal atmosphere for relaxing and meditating on the works of art that they have seen in the museum.
The basic organization of the museum is predetermined and easy to follow. Overly, it is well organized into five sections; the 1st floor, 2nd floor, Touchton Map Gallery, Wayne Thomas Gallery, and Community Case. In order to ensure an easy view of the collections, the 1st floor is subdivided into the Lykes Atrium, Florida First People, Winds of Change Theatre, European Exploration, Charles L Knight Gallery, Coacoochee’s Story Theatre, and Cigar City. Similarly, the second floor has various subsections such as Ypur Tampa Bay, Tampa Bay Timeline, Cowmen and Crackers, A place of Your Own, Year Round Play, Witness to Change, War Stories, A land Remembered, Touch Map Gallery, and Annis Children Gallery. The Wayne Thomas Gallery has temporary exhibitions that display historical and cultural themes. These exhibitions are produced by the museum’s curatorial team or borrowed from other museums within the country. Finally, the Community Case shows the history of various organizations in the country.
My trip to the museum was enjoyable. Actually, the huge sculptures by Jaume Plensa as well as the Community Case section were the areas that I enjoyed the most. Specifically, I loved the two men praying giants and the giant structures that were holding trees. These artefacts had a hidden meaning. Moreover, they were also educative.
Two Men Praying Giants
The Jaume Plensa two men praying giant sculptures, which are outside the Tampa museum are well designed and unique. A person can view them without entering the museum. Interestingly, these sculptures show two individual males looking at each other as if they are in prayer. These amazing pieces are made of steel by welding various shapes of metallic numbers and alphabets. Further, these pieces are painted white and placed on white concrete.
The elements of art such as shape, pattern, and color are well displayed in these artifacts. Evidently, the Two Men Praying Giants are huge when compare with the size of human beings. Nonetheless, Plensa has designed them in the shape of a man and they are three-dimensional. In effect, they are able to show an actual image of a praying person. On the element of pattern, these pieces are made using steel cuttings that are shaped as various alphabets and letters. These metallic pieces are haphazardly joined to form these creations. In effect, these structures do not have any uniform pattern. However, the use of these shapes exemplifies the theme of education. Evidently, education uses letters and numbers in various ways. The white color used in the collections shows purity. Notably, Plensa ensured that even the surface where the structures have been placed has this color. The use of numbers shows that these structures represent knowledgeable and wise individuals. Evidently, wisdom is always illustrated using white color.
On the principles of design, Plensa concentrated on balance, proportion, and unity when developing these artifacts. Balance is the main principle of design that is visible once a person sees the image. To begin with, these images are identical and opposite to each other. Consequently, there is a balance when comparing them. Moreover, both pieces are painted in a similar color, white. Further, a thorough scrutiny of each structure shows that they are symmetrical. For example, the size and the shape of hands are equal and identical. When evaluating the pieces based on proportion, it is clear that the actual image has similar dimensions to those of man. Basically, the sizes of the hands and the head relative to the size of the creations are proportional. Finally, these collections show that they have unity. Unity is demonstrated in the manner that both collections use letters. Further, they are made using the same material, steel.
In addition to the above, the structures have a high relief. Overly, these creations are made in such a way that an individual can walk around them and investigate all their components. Primarily, the Praying Giant creation is figurative. The figurative aspect of this piece is due to its ability to have hidden information such as the illustration of holiness and wisdom. Wisdom is illustrated by the use of letters while holiness is shown by painting the entire creation white.
The subject matter of this art is portraiture. Ideally, the Praying Giant illustrates the picture of a holy individual such as a priest. Moreover, the use of numbers shows that this person is wise. The use of various formal aspects such as color, pattern, and shape interact to give meaning to the final structure. Specifically, the use of white color shows purity. In addition to this, the use of symmetrical shapes makes the image to be realistic. Finally, the use of alphabetical patterns shows the theme of enlightenment.
Overly, a visual analysis of the structure changed my analysis of the creation. In the beginning, I saw the Praying Giant as simply an unfinished metal artefact. However, a closer visual analysis enabled me to see the importance of using white color, alphabets, and numbers to illustrate the theme of this structure.
Giant Structures that are Holding Trees
The other interesting works of art were the “Giant Structures that are Holding Trees.” Basically, these human-sized structures hold huge vases that have trees. They are placed on the museum’s compound. Noteworthy, Jaume Plensa made these collections using concrete. Moreover, they have numbers and symbols on all their body parts.
A contextual analysis of these works of art can enable an individual to understand the theme that Plensa was communicating. To begin with, he used structures that had numbers on all their body parts. Ideally, the use of numbers shows that these collections represent an intelligent person. Secondly, these artifacts are holding trees. Ideally, their actions show that a knowledgeable person is expected to take care of his/her environment. Noteworthy, these structures are modern and were formed around 2010. Therefore, they demonstrate the theme of environmental conservation, which is one of the main topics in this era.
The giant structures holding trees are organized and calculated creations. Actually, these collections serve in enabling individuals to become aware of their duty of taking care of the environment. In light of this, the artist wanted to educate the society. In part, this explains why they are in the open area. Overly, it is possible to understand the objectives of the artist. Specifically, Plensa was communicating on the theme of protecting the environment. However, the use of letters and symbols on the structure holding the trees appears to be misinformed. Basically, the use of symbols implies that these creations represent an intellect. Nonetheless, the uneducated are the main contributors to environment protection. In most cases, they are the ones who work in farms and other informal jobs. Consequently, this argument raises questions on what was the motive of using symbols on these pieces.
Conclusion
From the discussions above, it is clear that my visit at Tampa Museum of Art was educative and enlightening. I learned the importance of paying attention to detail when analyzing artistic collections. Ordinarily, most artistic works have a hidden message, therefore, a simple view of these pieces may not show the audience all the information that the artist intended to communicate. Noteworthy, I was able to see the use of this design technique in some of Plensa’s collections. Due to the wide collection of information in the museum, I would encourage most students and children to visit the Tampa Museum of Art for their learning.
 
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