Culture exists throughout the city of Barcelona, and I was able to experience extra on my way “Museu Nacional D’Art De Catalunya” (MNAC), after getting lost in Las Ramblas. Arriving at the MNAC, I expected to simply be observing the styles of art used by Catalonian artists throughout eras. Instead, I was introduced to so much more. During this program, we were told we would be working with qualitative research, using visual research methods (VRM) to analyze and produce data. Dr. John Coumbe-Lilley, offered a different challenge. We practiced deductive reasoning skills by breaking down the story lines and themes of the paintings, and making inferences as to what the depictions really meant. This exercise allowed us to present our own perspectives as well as provide evidence to support them, and listen to input from fellow team members.
After having a fellow roommate address the group with her perspective of what she felt “Possessio” depicted and engaging in conversation in what we observed, students had the opportunity to do the same with a work of art of our choosing. The purpose of the exercise was to come up with a make-believe story behind the art and then confidently present our thoughts.
There were many skills we were able to take from this experience after immersing ourselves in Catalan culture through it’s National Art Museum. We were able to establish what it truly means to break concepts down in qualitative research and then analyze them. By picking and choosing pieces of the work and defining what each means, we can put together the pieces and look at the work as whole. We were also able to work on leadership and team dynamic skills, such as communication, public speaking and listening. In multiple exercises, we took on roles such as experts which we will have in the future in our careers, and presented a thesis, and supported that thesis with strong facts. I felt this experience was an excellent opportunity to be introduced to Catalan culture and history, but to practice professional skills we will find applicable in the future.