Virtual Slow Art Week in Latvia

The Art Museum in Riga Bourse in Riga, Latvia hosted a virtual, weeklong Slow Art Week for their third year participating in the slow looking movement. Anna Emsiņa, art educator, hosted the event and communications manager, Anete Brakša, worked on virtual videos and Instagram stories.

Events outside their control forced the museum to convert their original in-person plans to instead posting stories in Latvian to their social media accounts on Instagram and Facebook throughout Slow Art Week. Their Instagram reel and stories focused on works from the exhibition Georg Wilhelm Timm (1820-1895): artist, publisher, traveler, and shared general tips how to enjoy slow looking at the art.

The text above is an invitation/explanation on how and why to look at art slowly. It translates to:
“Spending extended time with the chosen art object and delving into the details to find an individual connection with it.”

The image above contains prompts to consider while slow looking and translates to:
“Choose one art object and devote time to it. (deep inhale and exhale)
– What is your first impression, why? why chose this work?
– Does this work of art remind you of something?
– What attracts you to the composition?
– What feelings do the colors create?
– Imagine that a work of art is a new environment – what do you feel?”

The image above is a centering exercise; it translates to:
“The main thing is to breathe. Close your eyes if necessary and don’t be afraid to answer the questions that arise for yourself.”

Their Slow Art Week brought many virtual visitors, with thousands of views.

The Art Museum Riga Bourse holds slow art events throughout the year and more information can be found on their calendar. They hope to have some in person, but will continue with the virtual events as long as necessary.

We can’t wait to see what this important and creative museum comes up with for next year.

– Robin, Ashley, Phyl, Johanna, and Jessica Jane

Toronto’s Gardiner Museum Explores Social, Political, & Environmental Themes

Earlier this year, the Gardiner Museum, Canada’s ceramics museum, hosted a Slow Art Day event focusing on the social, political, and environmental themes explored in the exhibition Shary Boyle: Outside the Palace of Me. Education Manager, Farrukh Rafiq, guided attendees in slow looking activities and engaged them in a discussion about the works on display.

Shary Boyle: Outside the Palace of Me

As a multi-sensory installation, Shary Boyle: Outside the Palace of Me explores how we see ourselves and each other through drawings, ceramic sculpture, life-sized automatons, two-way mirrors, coin-operated sculpture, and an interactive score.

More information about the exhibit and the Gardiner Museum can be found on the links above and via their social media pages: Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

This is the third year that Toronto’s Gardiner Museum has held a slow art event and we can’t wait to see what they come up with next year.

– Robin, Ashley, Phyl, Jessica Jane, and Johanna

Sharon Norwood Slowly at Washington & Lee University

The Museums at Washington & Lee University in Lexington, VA held their first Slow Art Day this year, led by Director of Museums Isra El-beshir and student curator Posi Oluwakuyide, and focused on “The Root of the Matter,” an exhibit featuring the contemporary art of Sharon Norwood.

A conceptual artist of Caribbean descent, Norwood aims to provoke an honest conversation about race, beauty, and differences.

The Root of the Matter V, 2016 Digital Collage by Sharon Norwood. Courtesy of the Museums at Washington and Lee website.

Slow looking participant. Courtesy of the Museums at Washington & Lee University Instagram.

As you can see, she uses the curly line to express identity and cultural relationships through various art forms, including ceramics, drawings, paintings, installations, and videos.

Her work is stunning and we recommend you check out their Instagram and visit their website to read more about Sharon Norwood.

We are happy to welcome The Museums at W&L to our movement, and very much look forward to seeing the art they focus on for their second Slow Art Day in 2023.

– Ashley, Johanna, Jessica Jane, Robin, and Phyl

P.S. Below is the digital flyer used to promote the event (note their use of tinycc in their print marketing, which makes it easier for readers to type in long urls – something we recommend other educators consider copying for their print materials).

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Mindful Art at Musée des Beaux Arts d’Orléans in Orléans, France

For their first Slow Art Day, Mindful Art hosted two days of mindfulness and slow looking at the Musée des Beaux Arts d’Orléans in Orléans, France. Organizer Marjan Abadie led the hybrid in-person and online event, which had 129 participants in total.

The Mindful Art Experience is an initiative by the Mindfulness Institute in Brussels, Belgium. Below is a website banner they used to promote the event.

Marjan Abadie leading participants through slow looking. CREDIT: Marjan Abadie
Slow Art Day participants. CREDIT: Marjan Abadie

We look forward to what Marjan Abadie comes up with for Slow Art Day 2023.

– Ashley, Johanna, Jessica Jane, Robin, and Phyl

Slow Art Day at Nashville Parthenon

On the 2nd of April, the Nashville Parthenon in Nashville, Tennessee, celebrated their first Slow Art Day with a variety of in-person activities.

For the event, they organized four art talks with Acting Curator Jennifer Richardson who helped participants look slowly and explore paintings while also facilitating discussions using Visual Thinking Strategies (VTS).

Acting Curator Jennifer Richardson in the Cowan Gallery – Picture taken from website

Richardson alternated talks/slow looking with other activities.

For example, docents encouraged participants to take part in their Cowan Challenge: a slow looking, detail-finding game with paintings from their Cowan Collection, which includes art works that range from the 18th-20th centuries, to contemporary pieces from their Red Arrow – Show Up! past exhibition.

They also held an Achitecture Tour to look slowly at the building and, separately, organized a Kidsville event, where children, families, and adults could read a book with Imagination Library and create art inspired by it. To make everything even more inclusive, they also set up a Quiet Area for participants to enjoy art books in their specific designated area.

The event was a success, with 1,867 visitors and 242 recorded contacts many of whom admitted to being surprised by discovering how much they could really see thanks to the art of slowing down.

At Slow Art Day HQ we are glad to welcome Nashville Parthenon to our movement and look forward to what they come up with in April 2023!

– Jessica Jane, Phyl, Ashley, Johanna, and Robin

7th Slow Art Day at Hofstra University Museum of Art

For their 7th Slow Art Day held April of 2022, Hofstra University Museum of Art in Hempstead, New York held an in-person event focused on works of art in their “Drawing Matters” exhibition, which included works from the museum’s collection of botanical and scientific illustrations, as well as engineering and architectural drawings.

Museum Director Karen Albert led slow looking and drawing exercises throughout the 2-hour event, which was limited to 15 attendees.

Slow Art Day Participants
Slow Art Day Participants

Below is the flyer used to promote the event:

Hofstra, which uses slow-looking techniques throughout the year during their classes, brought a light touch to the program (i.e., less lecture and more looking), which is what we love to see.

You can visit them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Linkedin, and learn more about their classes, which are provided to elementary, secondary, and university students, as well as teachers and others.

We look forward to what the Hofstra Museum of Art comes up with for their 8th Slow Art Day in 2023.

– Ashley, Johanna, Jessica Jane, Robin, and Phyl