[In this series, we will be posting reports from Slow Art Day hosts around the world who held Slow Art Day events on April 27, 2013. This week, we are featuring the Slow Art Day event run by Karen Barrett-Wilt, held at the Chazen Museum of Art in Madison, Wisconsin]
Hello from Madison WI!
Highlights of our first Slow Art Day included eating lunch outside (Spring is here!), 15 participants, and a great conversation. The conversation required very little facilitating from me. A couple of people had never been to the Chazen Museum of Art, but all were still very willing to talk about their experiences. We had a spirited conversation with a lot of respectful disagreement, which is one thing that I love about art – no one is wrong! I’d like to add my thanks to the organizers – you were incredibly efficient and responsive, and made it all so easy. Thank you!
Karen also included a couple of photographs of one of the pieces they viewed at their Slow Art Day, Beth Cavener Stichter’s L’Amante, 2012.
[In this series, we will be posting reports from Slow Art Day hosts around the world who held Slow Art Day events on April 27, 2013. This week, we are featuring the Slow Art Day event run by blog manager Tori and her partner Chelsey from PrairieSeen, held at SNAP Gallery in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada]
Slow Art Day 2013 is sadly over, but we are looking forward to hosting again next year…
Our event (the first in Edmonton!) went very well. We had 12 participants signed up on Eventbrite (including the two hosts) and 18 people who joined the Facebook event. In total we ended up having 8 people altogether; a small group that worked well together in the small space that is SNAP Gallery.
In the nature of our blog/ website/ open platform whose mandate is to cultivate a discourse about local arts in Edmonton, we had a very informal Slow Art Day. Of course, we told the participants the premise of the event, but left them free to choose their own five works to look at (there are only two exhibition spaces at SNAP, with approximately 10 works in each). Participants thus looked at all of the works, but focused on their choices. We also had the chance to observe open studio at SNAP (which is a print-based gallery and studio), which was great; since printmaking is so technical it was interesting to see how the process works.
We had a really great discussion afterwards over lunch at a delicious local restaurant (of course!) where we talked about slow looking, the work in the exhibitions, arts education, art in Edmonton, working in galleries, going to galleries etc. We had great feedback, took a small album of photos, and hope to meet again in the future before the next Slow Art Day (hopefully with even more participants!)
Tori and Chelsey
Two days ago on Saturday, April 27 we celebrated Slow Art Day 2013 in 272 museums in 207 cites across six continents.
We – the volunteer team who runs Slow Art Day – have much to be thankful for.
I started Slow Art Day with four participants at the Museum of Modern Art in 2009. Four years later – and without any money invested at all – we have built a global movement with thousands of participants and hundreds of hosts.
How did Slow Art Day grow like this?
For me answering that question means acknowledging that we have just barely begun.
Even in the United States, with the largest economy in the world by far, only 23% of adults visit art museums each year. That means 77% stay away.
Why do so many people stay away from these important cultural institutions?
There are many varied and complex reasons but at Slow Art Day we believe that at least one reason is that many people do not feel welcome. This is true despite the genuine hard work and creativity that most museums put into welcoming the public.
I started Slow Art Day because I myself finally discovered that if I stood in front of a piece of art for an extended time that I saw much more and felt included in the art experience. Most importantly, I felt that way not because someone told me what to see or feel but because I included myself. If thousands, indeed millions, of people took the time to look slowly, then they might discover for themselves that they have the capacity to look at and participate fully in art.
The art on the walls and galleries of public institutions around the world is owned by all of humanity. This is our art. It is for us and by us. And Slow Art Day creates the possibility for millions of people to realize that simple but profound truth.
So, yes, we give thanks to the:
- 272 volunteer hosts around the world who created and ran their own powerful and unique events for Slow Art Day;
- 20 members of the global coordinating team, many of them art history college students, who brought their passion, creativity and energy to building Slow Art Day 2013;
- thousands of museums and galleries around the world who work so hard to make art available and whose staffs inspire us everyday;
- many thousands of artists who give their gifts to all of humanity;
- many, many thousands of people who took two hours on Saturday to look slowly and discover for themselves the joy of including themselves in this thing called art.
Founder, Slow Art Day