Slow Art Day and the Art of Social Media

As the very first intern to join the Slow Art Day team back in August of 2012, I’ve seen the social media strategy for our organization evolve from the ground up. From completely revamping our Tumblr page, to becoming active again on Facebook and Twitter, we’ve grown our online presence exponentially in just over a year, thanks to our hard-working social media team of just under 10 interns and volunteers.

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One our strongest beliefs at Slow Art Day is that art is truly for everyone, and our social media channels reflect that. Our Facebook page provides a daily dose of interesting artwork into your newsfeed, while our Tumblr blog showcases not only art by well-established names, but also features young and emerging artists who submit their work for our weekly “Tumblr Thursdays.

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We’re planning some exciting contests and giveaways in the future, so make sure to stay up to date on all our social media channels, whether we’re welcoming and announcing new venues on Twitter, sharing host reports and interviews on our blog, or posting thought-provoking and inspiring pieces of art on our Facebook and Tumblr.

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If you like what you see, feel free to drop us a line – we always love feedback!

Alie Cline
Social Media Manager

Host Report from Margaret McCue, Zürich, Switzerland

[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 Margaret McCue, held at the Rietberg Museum in Zürich, Switzerland]

Dear fellow hosts,

I hosted an event at the Rietberg Museum in Zürich, Switzerland. The Rietberg is a “world art” museum, meaning non-European. Many participants said they especially appreciated the cross-cultural aspect.

Nearly everyone said they wished there would be more frequent Slow Art
events.

The most difficult part was the discussion: I chose the museum’s cafe, which has only small tables that can’t be easily rearranged so we were divided into small groups of four. I had hoped we could eat and converse on the museum’s terrace, at tables that we could have moved around to accommodate whatever size turnout. However, this is Zürich, and it poured rain. So, I would do this part differently in the future.

I chose the five pieces for variety: big, small, simple, complex, colorful, monochromatic, painting, sculpture, ceramic, in different locations throughout the museum (which is in several small buildings) and no repeat of a culture. A few asked me whether there was a theme, and most did not realize or understand that I had chosen the art: they thought that (somehow!) the Slow Art Day organization itself chose the art at all locations. Several noted that they especially liked the variety, the moving around, and the freedom to just look at those pieces without feeling compelled to look at anything else.

I totally enjoyed hosting this event, and appreciate the Slow Art Day organization for making it possible for anyone to host. The participants were, for me, a fun combination of people I know personally and complete strangers who discovered it through Eventbrite. Most of all, I appreciate the concept: slow down and absorb what you see.

Thanks again to all who made this a world-wide event,
Margaret

Twitter, tumblr, and Slow Art: oh my!

If you follow Slow Art Day on our various social media channels, you might have noticed an interesting conversation unfolding this week over whether programming like Slow Art Day can succeed in today’s fast-paced, digital environment. It all started when Sarah Bailey Hogarty from the de Young & Legion of Honor Museums looped us into a conversation happening at the 2013 Museums and the Web Conference:

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Of course, we had to respond!

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Which opened the floodgates for more dialogue and opinions from both sides:

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While twitter is fantastic for short, 140 character thoughts, we wanted to address our thoughts on the power of slow looking in a longer format, so our Social Media Manager Alie Cline took to the Slow Art Day tumblr to respond to Koven Smith’s initial concerns about Slow Art. Focusing on the ideas of slow looking and engagement, the post details how Slow Art Day can work within digital culture, “…so people can share their insights, observations, and engage with the artwork in a way that reaches beyond just the initial reaction of “I like this” or “I don’t like this.” Make sure to check out the entire post on our tumblr!

We love the thoughtful and respectful dialogue that took place on our social media channels – make sure to follow Slow Art Day on Twitter, Facebook, and Tumblr for more conversations like this one!

Slow Art Day with Natalie Iturbe at the Melrose Trading Post

[In this series, we interview hosts for Slow Art Day and get their thoughts on hosting, the art of looking, and the slow art community. Today we interview Natalie Iturbe, who is hosting a Slow Art Day event at the Melrose Trading Post in Los Angeles.]

Slow Art Day: Tell us about yourself and your passion, Natalie.

Natalie: My passion is art! I am a visual artist and somewhat of a curator. I express my passion through my job and through my artwork. At my job I bring in various local vendors to sell in our weekly community market. It is a particular selection process, and I aim to keep a good balance of original artwork, vintage and antique items, fun collectibles and fashion-related items. Through my art I am able to release my inner thought processes and energies onto a canvas or a piece of paper. It is absolutely necessary for me to create art in order to maintain a balanced and happy life.

Slow Art Day: And what is Melrose Trading Post?

Natalie: The Melrose Trading Post is the weekly nonprofit community market I manage every Sunday. We are located in the heart of Los Angeles at Fairfax and Melrose Avenues in the parking lot of Fairfax High School. We are sandwiched between two of LA’s artistic communities, Fairfax Village and the Street Art District. The vendors that come in range from local artists, craftspeople, entrepreneurs, collectors, antique buffs, historians and more. The money raised through our $2 admission fee and the vendor booth rentals benefit programs for Fairfax High School students. These programs include club fulfillment requests, Greenway Arts Education Programs, teacher supply requests, school beautification projects and more.

Slow Art Day: You have hosted Slow Art Day before. How’d you first hear about it?

Natalie: I saw an article about it online last year. I volunteer at the county museum (LACMA) and I noticed that many people only look at individual pieces of art for a few seconds. The artist may have taken years to create the piece, but it only gets a few seconds of a patron’s time. By bringing Slow Art Day to the Melrose Trading Post, I saw it as a way to slow Angelenos’ hasty life pace down long enough to look at the local artists’ work that we feature.

Slow Art Day: At your Slow Art Day – the artists are there to interact directly with the public, yes?

Natalie: Yes – the Melrose Trading Post is a very interactive experience. We have over 240 artists and vendors who you can talk to, haggle with, and pick their minds about their various topics of expertise. Our Slow Art Day is unique because you can actually speak with the artist. You can ask them questions, make a direct purchase and follow their creative journey. We like Slow Art Day here because it is yet another way to bring patrons and local artists together to engage and inspire each other.

Slow Art Day: What is one of your favorite art works?

Natalie: I love the work of Remedios Varo. Her paintings are so mystical and haunting. I also love Henri Matisse’s artwork, especially his more colorful pieces before World War 1.

[Make sure to check out Natalie’s Slow Art Day event at the Melrose Trading Post in Los Angeles, California.]

‘Fair go’ and Slow Art Day – An Interview with Elle Credlin

[In this series, we interview hosts for Slow Art Day and get their thoughts on hosting, the art of looking, and the slow art community. Today we interview Elle Credlin, the Public Programs officer for Bayside City Council in Sandringham, Victoria, Australia.]

Slow Art Day: Tell us about yourself and about Bayside City Council’s Art and Heritage Collections.

Elle Credlin: I’m Bayside City Council’s Art and Heritage Collections and Public Programs Officer. I have a Bachelor of Arts (History) and a Postgraduate Diploma in Cultural Heritage/Museum Studies. My role is to manage Council’s art and heritage collection and also run public programs for the Gallery @ BACC. Council’s art and heritage collection is comprised of over 2000 items including municipal records, plans, maps, textiles, photographs, mayoral regalia and a range of visual arts.

Slow Art Day: That’s great. Tell us more about your role as Public Programs Officer.

Elle: I develop and manage the range of public programs and outreach services to accompany and enrich the exhibition program. These include things like curator’s talks, workshops, tours, art appreciation evenings and now Slow Art Day! We also run an Art and Dementia program titled Connections. Through discussion based tours of art work, the program provides a unique opportunity for people living with dementia to connect, interpret and express experiences through a work of art.

Slow Art Day: Please tell us more about the Dementia program. Do many other programs like that exist in Australia?

Elle: Connections is based on the National Gallery of Australia’s award winning Art and Alzheimer’s program. In 2012, gallery staff received training from NGA educators in how to deliver the program. Each program runs over a four week period and three works of art are discussed each week amongst the four participants. The program employs specialised forms of communication and strategies to encourage participation and support inclusiveness. These strategies include hand gestures, smiling, leaning forward and allowing for silence. It is run during normal gallery opening hours to prevent the marginalising of participants. We are really proud of Connections because it extends beyond many activities commonly available to people with dementia. Participants are able to engage in meaningful activity in an environment where their intellect is respect and valued. As far as I’m aware, we are the only local municipal gallery that runs this particular type of program in the state of Victoria, but that may have changed.

Slow Art Day: Why are you so passionate about making art more accessible?

Elle: I absolutely hate the idea that people could be intimidated or frightened by visiting a gallery or find themselves plagued by the ‘white box syndrome’. Galleries should be inclusive and welcoming. Every single person should have the opportunity to experience the richness of the arts. More broadly, as we are based within a local government context, we also need to align ourselves with the broader organisational mission of inclusivity, accessibility and facilitating opportunities for people of all abilities to participate in community life.

Slow Art Day: We obviously agree. Switching gears – Slow Art Day has really taken off in Australia. There are 13 venues in Australia making it more than 5% of the total worldwide venues yet Australia has only about .3% of world population.  Why do you think Slow Art Day is such a big hit there?

Elle: I’m not sure, that is a really interesting question. Melbourne, in particular, has a thriving artistic and cultural scene so that could have something to do with it. Maybe the fact that Slow Art Day is an accessible and affordable activity mirrors the ‘fair go’, non-elitist attitude of many aspects of Australian culture and life i.e. that everyone should have access to the same opportunities and experiences.

Slow Art Day: Say more about ‘fair go’ – is that Australian lingo?

Elle:  ‘Fair go’ is a very Australian term.  Although it has many different meanings, I think it is fundamentally a commitment to egalitarianism in all aspects of culture and life; that we are all given every reasonable opportunity to access to the same opportunities and rewards. That is how I see it anyway.

Slow Art Day: What more can you tell us about your event? Have you chosen your art?

Elle: For Slow Art Day, we will be celebrating the works of a number of significant early 20th century Australian artists, including Tom Roberts, Frederick McCubbin and Arthur Streeton. We will be having lunch in the municipal chambers. If it’s a nice day, we might sit out in the rose garden.

Slow Art Day: You plan to make Slow Art Day a regular fixture in your public programs. Does that mean you plan to do regular events throughout the year based on slow looking?

Elle: Yes, Slow Art Day will now be a regular feature in our program. Our Art and Dementia program, as mentioned, is very much aligned with the idea of slow looking. We also host ‘soiree’ type evenings with wine and cheese, which are very popular. These evenings are very relaxed and people are encouraged to take their time with the works.

Slow Art Day: Let’s finish by asking what’s one of your favourite pieces of art? And why?

Elle: That is a hard question! I love Ben Quilty’s work. I think he’s amazing.

[Make sure to check out Elle’s Slow Art Day event at The Gallery at BACC in Brighton, Victoria.]

Blogging, Local Art, & Slow Art Day: an Interview with Tori & Chelsey from PrairieSeen

[In this series, we interview hosts for Slow Art Day and get their thoughts on hosting, the art of looking, and the slow art community. Today we interview Tori & Chelsey, the creators of the blog PrairieSeen and hosts of Edmonton Slow Art Day.]

Slow Art Day: This year’s Slow Art Day event will be your inaugural PrairieSeen event. But, before we get to that – tell us a bit about yourselves. You are recent graduates and art advocates, right?

Tori and Chelsey: We both graduated from the University of Alberta this past year. We also worked together at the University of Alberta’s Fine Arts Building Gallery, an on-campus space that displays mainly student work in the undergraduate and graduate Fine Art and Design programs. While working at FAB, we realized that we both have a lot to say about the local art environment in Edmonton, and about art in general. That’s how our shared blog, PrairieSeen, was born.

Slow Art Day: Now, tell us about PrairieSeen.

Tori and Chelsey: PrairieSeen was started as a way to keep our Art History degrees relevant, and also to keep ourselves in the practice of writing after graduation. Since we come from an art-historical background, we feel that we approach art and art criticism from a bit of a different perspective, and wanted to share that with the Edmonton art scene.

Slow Art Day: And it’s exciting that Slow Art Day is your first event. We have a veteran host in Rome who opened her gallery several years ago with Slow Art Day. She said it was very successful and has really shaped her whole approach to all her events. So – why did you choose to make Slow Art Day your first event?

Tori and Chelsey: The fact that it is already an established international event appealed to us, and that it is free – aside from the cost of gallery admission. We really liked that Slow Art Day promotes the idea of slow looking in the gallery, and taking your time with each piece, rather than rushing through and not really seeing the works. The discussion part of the event also appealed to us – we love talking about art exhibitions, whether we liked them or not!

Slow Art Day: You have chosen to hold Slow Art Day at Latitude 53, a local independent gallery in Alberta.  What can you tell us about that gallery?

Tori and Chelsey: Latitude 53 is a not-for-profit, artist run centre here in Edmonton. It focuses on experimental, contemporary works made by artists in Alberta and hosts a lot of fundraising events throughout the year, including a weekly “patio party” series in the summer. You can read more about Latitude 53 and its mandate here: http://www.latitude53.org/  Latitude 53 is moving into a new space this spring, and we are hoping to host the event in the brand new gallery!

Slow Art Day: One final question. We were hoping more college students would sign-up as hosts at galleries and museums all over the world. We have a large college intern team but college student hosting is still in its infancy. Do you have any tips or advice for getting more college students involved? Do you want to help reach out to more students in Canada?

Tori and Chelsey: We’d love to help reach out to more students in Canada – we’re recent University graduates ourselves and we know how hard it can be to find time to be involved in non-school related events. We will reach out to art history departments here in Canada and see if we can generate more student involvement.

Slow Art Day: That’s a wonderful offer and we’d really appreciate your help in reaching more students there in Canada. Thank you!

[Make sure to check out PrairieSeen on Tumblr and Twitter, and if you’re in the Edmonton area, sign up to attend Tori & Chelsey’s Slow Art Day Event at Latitude 53.]

Slow Art Day reaches over 200 venues!

We’re excited to announce that Slow Art Day has reached a new milestone: over 200 venues have registered to host Slow Art Day 2013! As of this week, there are over 200 participating venues in 22 countries, 160 cities, and 5 continents. What started out as a grassroots movement has grown into a truly global initiative, and we want to take a moment to thank all of our dedicated volunteers, hosts, and participants for their help and support of Slow Art Day.

To help celebrate this accomplishment, we’ve planned some fun posts across our social media channels emphasizing the theme of growth. On our Tumblr, our weekly “Themed Thursday” series is focusing on growth with artworks like Gregory Euclide‘s Otherworldly: optical delusions and small realities, 2011.

Gregory Euclide, Otherworldly: optical delusions and small realities, 2011.

Gregory Euclide, Otherworldly: optical delusions and small realities, 2011.

On our Facebook, check out another growth-themed artwork by Rogan Brown, and keep your eyes peeled on our twitter for a special tweet congratulating our 200th venue!

Slow Art Day 2013 is just over a month away; how many venues do you think will register to host by April 27th? Let us know in the comments! There’s still plenty of time to sign up to host; click on the Be A Host tab at the top of the page to register.

Once again, thank you to everyone who has played a roll, small or large, in helping make Slow Art Day such a success!

Alie Cline
Social Media Manager

 

Slow Art Day makes the Tumblr Radar

Today the tumblr staff selected a post from the Slow Art Day tumblr to be featured on their radar, a big honor! The work chosen was Maurice Sapiro’s “Gold on the Water.”

Maurice Sapiro, Gold on the Water, 2012

Check out the post on the Slow Art Day tumblr here, and see other works by Sapiro on his Saatchi Online profile.

– Alie Cline, Social Media Manager

Lisa Jameson on art education, Henri Matisse, and discovering Slow Art Day through google

[In this series, we interview hosts for Slow Art Day and get their thoughts on hosting, the art of looking, and the slow art community.]

Lisa Jameson, an Associate Professor of Art Education in the Department of Visual Arts at Northern Kentucky University, recently signed up to host a Slow Art Day event at the Cincinnati Art Museum in Cincinnati, Ohio. After she sent a great introductory note to the host community, we got in touch to find out more about her thoughts on art, art education and of course, Slow Art Day.

Slow Art Day: First, tell us a little more about what you do – how are you involved in the arts?

Lisa: I teach Art Education at Northern Kentucky University, near Cincinnati, OH. There I train future art educators and teach classes in art integration to Elementary Education majors who will be general classroom teachers. I am also a visual artist with an MFA in Drawing as well as a Certified Zentangle Teacher.

I taught children’s art classes for many years and continue to do so. It intrigues me that children are naturally curious and eager to delve into art making at least until they reach about 11. At that point they stop, either because their interests turn to other things, or because they become self critical.

Many of my Elementary Education students have not taken art since that age. And it has been through these non-art majors that I have learned how satisfying it is to enable adults who think they “can’t” make art re-discover the joys of the creative process. I hope in turn they will give their students the same opportunities.

Slow Art Day: What is one of your favorite artworks? What do you enjoy about it?

Lisa: One of my all-time favorites works of art is “The Red Studio” by Henri Matisse. There is something so engaging about how he plays with space, line and color-all enveloped in that gorgeous red.

Henri Matisse, The Red Studio, 1911. Oil on canvas, 71 1/4″ x 7′ 2 1/4″ (181 x 219.1 cm). Mrs. Simon Guggenheim Fund. © 2013 Succession H. Matisse, Paris / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Image courtesy of the Museum of Modern Art, New York.

Slow Art Day: How did you first hear of Slow Art Day?

Lisa: I found out about Slow Art Day by chance. I was thinking one day, out of the blue,  that there must be a “slow art” movement akin to the slow food movement. I did a Google search for “slow art” and found Slow Art Day! Very exciting!

Slow Art Day: Why did you decide to become a host?

Lisa: Cincinnati did not have anyone hosting, which surprised me. I signed up immediately. Who wouldn’t want to be a part of an international art event that encourages taking one’s time while viewing works of art and shares my passion for helping adults discover that they can relate to and understand (and make) art.

How often do we really get to be part of something like that?

Slow Art Day: Have you started thinking yet about the design of your Slow Art Day event?

Lisa: I have been thinking about it but have not yet made my choices. They will likely be some of the “hidden gems” vs. the “greatest hits” of the collection.

Slow Art Day: Thank you, Lisa, for taking the time out of your busy schedule to talk to us – and for being one of 150+ volunteer hosts around the world.

If you’re in the Cincinnati area, make sure to check out her Slow Art Day event at the Cincinnati Art Museum.

150+ venues registered for Slow Art Day 2013

Now in its fourth year, Slow Art Day 2013 is on track to be our biggest in the movement’s short history! We want to take a moment to highlight some of the milestones that Slow Art Day has reached this year due to the work of our dedicated group of volunteers and college interns (if you want to intern with us, click here to find out more).

Slow Art Day 2013 is taking place in:

  • 150+ venues
  • 128 different participating cities
  • 20 countries, including Canada, Mexico, England, Scotland, Ireland, Australia, Italy, France, the Netherlands, South Africa, Switzerland, Poland, Turkey, Lithuania and many more.
  • 5 continents

Over the past year, our team has grown from 5 core volunteers to a team of over 15 people, strongly helped by the internship program that global coordinator Dana-Marie Lemmer created. Our team has been hard at work helping to raise awareness about Slow Art Day 2013. We now have 7,000+ followers on Tumblr, an active and growing Facebook and Twitter presence, and regular updates to this blog. We also built a global database of galleries and museums and are in constant communication with all of those institutions.

Of course, Slow Art Day would be nothing without our vast network of hosts from around the globe; from museum coordinators to art-lovers, our hosts have enthusiastically responded to the Slow Art movement, registering to host their own Slow Art Day events at their local museum or gallery.

There’s only three months left until Slow Art Day 2013. If you want to connect with other art lovers, enjoy the art of looking, and take a break from the hustle and bustle of our fast-paced world, then sign up to host in your city and become a part of this rapidly growing global movement.

– Alie Cline, Social Media Manager