Austria Day 05

Sunday, May 13, 2012

   Today was a good day for me because I was challenged in a new light and I feel I grew a little more as a person. We went to another art museum today (this study abroad trip I’m on is an art class, hence all the art related activities). This time we went to Belvedere which is a set of two Baroque palaces belonging to Prince Eugene of Savoy who was a military leader in Vienna during the 17th century.  The Upper Belvedere Palace was used as a winter home while the lower Belvedere Palace was used as a summer home. Must be nice to have a palace for different times of the year! The Upper Belvedere hosts several art exhibits including medieval art, abstract art, art in exile, expressionism art, symbolism art, romanticism art, neoclassical art and more. Each room had a different category of art.

   Up until today I had only viewed old classical art that I grew up learning about. Even the pieces I had never heard of I really liked. When we first started viewing art at Belvedere and I walked through the first few rooms of abstract, symbolism, and exile art, I didn’t really get it. I saw a lot of paintings of random things and I didn’t understand why they were being displayed in a museum; a lot of them I did not understand and did not were all that impressive. After aimlessly walking through several rooms getting more confused, I decided to stop and challenge myself to try to appreciate adifferent form of art that I was not used to. I did learn that some of the pieces had a story behind them or a specific purpose. I also concluded that “good” art can’t really be defined because everyone has a different way of expressing themselves through colors, shapes, and symbols and that’s what makes it beautiful if it’s from the heart. And just because I don’t understand what’s on the canvas does not mean it’s not still good. So I approached the remaining paintings with a different perspective and I started to enjoy them a little as I tried to guess what was going through the artists mind while painting. I was almost ready to dismiss something that I wasn’t used to or did not like initially, but once I consciously made a decision to embrace it and give it a chance it got a lot better. I think that is pretty cool.

   We spent a couple of hours at Belvedere then went to eat lunch at a close by restaurant.  After eating we went to the Vienna Secession which is an exhibition art space and an architectural icon of significant changes in art that took place around 1900. We spent a couple of hours there and I almost had the same reaction as earlier, I did not really understand what I was looking at initially until I looked at it deeper. There was one exhibit in particular that I thought was kind of pointless at first until I figured outwhat it really was, then I thought it was one of the coolest things I’d ever seen! I even want to go and do research on it to find out more about it. That just shows me that when I approach something with a narrow mind I miss something that I might otherwise be extremely fascinated with.

   So this has been good for me because I’m being exposed to so many new things that I might not have ever encountered. The last trip to Europe I came on was through a political science class. As I mentioned before this current trip is through an art class. I’m a business major so these classes are not related to my field but I think it’s really good for me to step outside of my little academic concentration and embrace others because of the great opportunities that are presented. I’m making great friends with people that I might not have ever met had I not come on these trips. I’m learning a lot of information, not just in politics and art, but history about so many people and places that I would have never heard of. I’m having the opportunity to learn from faculty members other than the ones I take all my classes with and I get their perspectives and insights on a lot of things.  I also have the opportunity to visit all these great countries and have once in a lifetime opportunities that will affect me the rest of my days. I know often times we are afraid to step out of our comfort zones and embrace things that are different or unrelated to what we know or are used to; but so far, I’ve only been benefiting from it!