On Wednesday evening, we went to the Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya. I had already been there Sunday of the same week but this time I saw the art differently than I did before. Art in this form has never been explored in my family. I don’t know anybody in my family that knows how to draw or like to go to art museum. In high school, I never took any art classes for my elective courses, so it was interesting to learn to analyze art in that space; however, I did practice art in another form, dance, specifically Bharatnatyam. The art I saw was related to the art I practiced in my life, because both were forms of expression. I saw the similarities in both the artists work and my own, as we both used art as an outlet to convey our thoughts and emotions. Another aspect this brought me to was analyzing and observing work, be it creative or professional.
One word which highlighted the whole tour was “details.” I learned how important can details be. My favorite activity was when Kasha had to describe the painting of Joaquim Mir The Beggars Cathedral while having our eyes closed. It was interesting to know that based on only words, everyone can imagine a different picture for the same description. This exercise led me to think about the use of qualitative research methods we will utilize during the program; using our past experiences to make inferences about the meaning of something, is necessary. There is no one right or wrong answer to the meaning of an object. For example, in my years of dance, a form I would take could mean something to one person, but something else to another, which could easily happen in qualitative research.
Not only did this tour give me understanding of art but it taught me about qualitative research. One of our activities was to look at the art for 1 minute and describe it to two classmates without looking back at it. This painting featured many religious images, but it was hard for me to relate to and talk about. I didn’t have knowledge about the religion or the images that the painting featured; this relates to research methods, it’s important to know facts about a concept before explaining it. The last activity that we did was “I am an expert.” We pretended to be experts in one of the painting to tell a story about it from our point of view. This really challenged my understanding of art. This was an excellent confidence building exercise for the qualitative research I will be doing throughout the program and continuing back in Chicago; it’s important in our future roles as professionals to be confident in our knowledge when trying to help others.
The opportunity to explore the Museu Nacional d’art De Catalunya provided me with a number of chances to improve myself. I was able to broaden my mind to other forms of art, not just the one I’m closest with, which is dance. Broadening perspective, whether with one’s self or others is necessary in qualitative research methods. We also were able to practice professional skills, such as public presentation and speaking, leadership and team dynamics, and communication within a group which will be applicable in my future professional career.