Slow Art Day Shanghai 2016 ‘Wonderful’

Check Instagram for all the amazing photos coming in from around the world for Slow Art Day 2016 –

In the meantime, Slow Art Day Shanghai just reported via email (Instagram is not available in China):

We had a wonderful experience with Shanghai artist Li WenGuang in attendance. We asked the artist to speak to us AFTER we had an extended encounter with his artworks.

He was so interested in our unfiltered experience with this works.

The 1933 Contemporary Gallery features young, undiscovered talent like Li WenGuang.

It was a GREAT event in Shanghai once again – we were all entranced.

– Joan Lueth

slowartday in Shanghai 1

Slow Art Day 2015: The Eyes Have It in Napa, California

Three-time Slow Art Day host museum, the di Rosa in Napa, California, just sent this report on their event this year.

The most exciting part of this update is that they are considering adding a monthly Slow Art session to their museum programming. Our mission with Slow Art Day is not only to get great participation on the annual day each year, but also to encourage more museums and galleries to incorporate regular programming throughout the year.

– Phil

For the third year, the di Rosa (Napa, CA; participated in Slow Art Day. Again this year, the group of participants was intimate — quality trumps quantity! — giving everyone the opportunity to share observations afterward. As in previous years, we chose a mix of work — a large ceramic sculpture, two paintings, a three-dimensional work on canvas, and a kinetic sculpture. After viewing these works, we had a picnic lunch on property and a lively, energized discussion of what we had seen by looking slowly.

After last year, we thought about customizing our approach. Visitors had felt that the recommended 10 minutes of slow looking without discussing in front of the works made it difficult to recall precisely what they had observed.  As a result, we considered shortening the time spent to 7 minutes looking and then adding 3 minutes discussing in front of each work.

Ultimately, we went in yet a different direction. We adhered to the recommended 10-minute slow looking timeframe. And we added color photocopies of the five works to aid our lunchtime discussion. Those low-tech visual aids made all the difference. Participants could easily recall elements they had seen, talk about specific features of each work (color, texture, composition, etc), and share insights. And because the group included regular museum goers — even an art teacher — they had no difficulty verbalizing. At the end, participants and docents alike rated Slow Art Day 2015 a “10.” 

We’re now considering a monthly Slow Art Experience as a regular feature of our customized tours. And that would be in addition to participating in Slow Art Day 2016. In other words, di Rosa loves Slow Art Day! 

Michael McCauley
Dave Hight
co-docents for Slow Art Day 2015

Slow Art Day 2015 – in 200+ museums and galleries

Slow Art Day 2015 was a great success.

On Saturday, April 11, 2015, we had 200+ venues around the world – from Shanghai to Ghana, from Paris to Brooklyn, from a site in Russia to the Birmingham Museum of Art in Alabama.

View photos, write-ups, articles, and quotes from attendees here:

– Twitter –
– Instagram – search for hashtag “slowartday”
– Facebook –
– Google News –

Slow Art Day 2016 is Saturday, April 9, 2016.

We have a number of efforts and initiatives that we work on year-round. If you are interested in volunteering – or interning – please get in touch with us right away. We’d love your help!

– Phil Terry and the Slow Art Day team

The Art of Observation – in Art & Medicine

Weatherspoon Art Museum, Greensboro, North Carolina. When Ann Grimaldi, curator of education at the Weatherspoon Art Museum and one of our 2015 global hosts, learned about Slow Art Day a few years ago, she liked its simplicity, its focus on just looking, and its connection to the “Art of Seeing” program that she runs.

“The Art of Seeing” brings together students from nursing, kinesiology, nutrition, and physical therapy to learn observation skills that can help them become better healers. Among the techniques Ann teaches: simple looking, breathing, taking it all in, not interpreting, and slowing down.

For Slow Art Day this year, Ann will borrow from her program to help participants experience a “contemplative looking practice” by pausing, observing, and reflecting. She has chosen a variety of artworks from the Weatherspoon’s contemporary collection. Often contemporary art can be challenging, Ann says, noting its “ambiguity.” She feels that learning to spend time with something that may make us uncomfortable is a skill that is important for everyone, not just her students. And we at Slow Art Day agree – in fact, we’ve found that contemporary art can be a terrific choice for slow looking.

Ann adds she’s also asked Weatherspoon docents to be involved with Slow Art Day. Interestingly, they will be acting both as timekeepers and as moderators for the discussions that follow the slow viewing.

Hoping that some of the 200 community members and students interested in Slow Food and sustainability who meet at the Weatherspoon monthly will join other participations for another “slow” experience, she’s looking forward to a good Slow Art Day in Greensboro at the Weatherspoon Art Museum.

Links & Info:
Weatherspoon Art Museum –
Ann Grimaldi Curator of Education | Weatherspoon Art Museum The University of North Carolina at Greensboro

– written by Linda Wiggen Kraft, Veteran Slow Art Day Host

Today is Slow Art Day 2014

Have a *good* Slow Art Day 2014 wherever you are in the world.

If just one more person in the world today learns that they have the innate ability to look at and and to love art, then we will have all reached our mission.


Founder, Slow Art Day

P.S. Tweet about your experiences today. Use #slowartday2014

Thank you

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.

Thank you!

Phil Terry
Founder, Slow Art Day

Slow Art Day at LACMA with Monika Del Bosque

[Slow Art Day Founder Phil Terry recently interviewed Monika De Bosque, three-time host of Slow Art Day at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.]


Robert Matta – Burn, Baby Burn

Slow Art Day: You’ve been a Slow Art Day host since the beginning. Why?

Monika:  Art has the power to move us, and there is a certain potency in knowing that we’re all participating at the same time (give or take).  There’s something special about that.

Slow Art Day: You have 100 people coming to LACMA on Saturday and 10 moderators. Tell us more about the design of your Slow Art Day.

Monika:  It started out that my co-host and I took students from our respective classes at Pierce College in Woodland Hills, CA.  Melanie McQuitty teaches Aesthetics and Philosophy of Art in the Sociology/Philosophy Department and I teach Studio Art courses and direct the college Art Gallery.

Slow Art Day: Do professors from different departments there typically team up like that?

Monika: It is actually rather unusual for faculty at our college to do interdisciplinary activities such as this, but we saw the correlation between our classes and really enjoy collaborating together.  Our first year co-hosting it was really a student event with about 60 students.

Slow Art Day: But, now you have an interesting mix of students and the public, right?

Monika: Yes. I really enjoy the fact that there is a mixture of both students and people from all over Los Angeles.

Slow Art Day: What art did you pick for Slow Art Day this year?

Monika:  We have some great art selected! We are looking at Gego’s Column, Squared Reticularia, 1972; Roberto Matta’s Burn, Baby, Burn, 1965-66; Charles Howard’s Double Circle, 1950; Edward Biberman’s The White Firescape, 1956; Marc Chagall’s Violinist on a Bench, 1920; and finally George Segal’s, Old Woman in a Window, 1965.

Slow Art Day: And what about your unique approach to moderators?

Monika: We recruit about eight other moderators besides ourselves because with such a huge turnout, we break into groups of ten or so for our discussion time.  Our moderators are students who have taken our courses and attended past Slow Art Day events, faculty members from other colleges, museum educators, and artists. It helps that we know people within the field of art and art education, but we are actually pretty selective about who we ask because we want the discussions to be engaging and interesting.

Slow Art Day: How do you determine the topics for the moderators?

Monika: Instead of choosing one piece or topic to discuss, we allow our moderators to pick a piece they want to lead a discussion on and then let our attendees to self select their discussion group based upon these discussion topics.  Within reason.  We will move people around if we see that a group has twenty people and another has only three.  Because we allow our moderators this level of autonomy, this is why we are very selective in who we ask to lead a discussion.

Slow Art Day: What do you do during the discussions?

Monika: I generally lead a group on the museum experience as this relates to a particular piece, or a group on the elements and principles of design in a particular work since I teach 2D Design.  In order to keep a sense of continuity with our large group, we stay at our venue for discussion, and we keep our small discussion groups within proximity to each other.  This does prove challenging at a large, busy museum like LACMA!  This year we have begun to work more closely with their staff, and have found a location for our discussion that we think will work really well for this (stay tuned).  It can be hotter than blazes by April in LA (two years ago it was a 100 degree day), so we’re always looking for shade.  Next year we hope to secure an indoor space by working with the museum staff.

Slow Art Day: You yourself are both an artist and a teacher. Tell us more.

Monika:  Well yes, I am one of those people fortunate enough to make a living doing what I love.  I have an MFA in Studio Art, and studied Museum Collections Management—both at John F. Kennedy University.  I actually first heard about Slow Art Day from a colleague at JFKU, Susan Spero, who posted the very first announcement back in 2010 on her Facebook page.  Seems I was destined to be an educator because I love teaching and I love art and I love museums.  So, I am very happy getting to teach art and run a gallery and teach exhibition design.  For me, it’s the perfect combination. When I’m not teaching, my art revolves around exploring identity. I’m a painter and in my paintings I like to push boundaries with my materials. I draw and mix media and incorporate collage and handwritten text into my work.  I have a deep love of color, line, design, and geometric forms and structures.  My students tell me I am a fun instructor and people often mistake me for my students.  When I’m not in my studio, I can often be found mucking about in my garden or kitchen getting inspiration for my art.

[Make sure to check out Slow Art Day at the LACMA in Los Angeles.]