Philadelphia Museum of Art Combines Poetry, Music, and Visual Art

Philadelphia Museum of Art creatively integrated music and poetry with their 2019 Slow Art Day in celebration of National Poetry Month. 

“Since poems slow us down to consider individual words, phrases, and the structure of language, we thought this would be a great way to encourage slow looking,” said Greg Stuart, Museum Educator and Public Programs Coordinator.

Slow Art Day participants were asked to focus on a single work of art for 45 minutes while experiencing an in-gallery music performance. They were then also encouraged to participate in poetry writing workshops and a bookmaking program.

Candy Alexandra Gonzalez, a local poet and visual artist, encouraged participants to create a collaborative book by writing and drawing about things in their lives that they wished moved at a slower pace.

Collaborative book created by Slow Art Day participants.

One visitor said: 

“This was great for me and my eight year old daughter. It helped us look at the art more closely and talk about it together. Thank you!”

We couldn’t be happier to hear of such a successful multimedia, multi-sensory Slow Art Day, and look forward to what the Philadelphia Art Museum creates for Slow Art Day 2020.

Ashley

Successful first Slow Art Day at The ACCA

The Australian Centre for Contemporary Art (ACCA) in Melbourne, Australia hosted a successful first Slow Art Day in 2019 with the newly opened solo exhibit Tom Nicholson: Public Meeting. Shannon Lyons, Educator and Program Coordinator, and Eliza Devlin, Education’s Manager, guided participants through an hour of slow observation of four specific artworks by the internationally renowned Australian artist. Afterwards, they spent 30 minutes discussing the links they discovered between the artworks, and how the experience of slow-looking brought new aspects to the surface that only emerged over time.

“Tom Nicholson: Public Meeting” installation view at the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art. Courtesy of the artist and Milani Gallery, Brisbane. Photograph: Shannon Lyons

Shannon Lyons, Educator and Program Coordinator, reported:

Everyone felt calm and relaxed afterward. From an educator’s perspective, it was interesting to note the kinds of questions that the Slow Art Day participants had about the artist and about the artworks. Thanks for having ACCA take part in this world wide event!

We thank The Australian Centre for Contemporary Art for their participation this year, and look forward to seeing their Slow Art Day event in 2020!

Ashley

Cincinnati Slow Art Day Engages All Senses

Cincinnati Art Museum’s 7th Slow Art Day engaged five senses as the museum staff creatively combined scents, food, music, touchable objects, and color filters to enhance the overall experience.

Visitors mimicking brushstrokes within the artwork

Sara Birkofer, Cincinnati Art Museum’s Manager of Accessibility & Gallery Programs, recently led a Slow Art Day webinar on designing multi-sensory visitor experiences

In the webinar, Sara spoke about how engaging all the senses helps participants look at art in a new way, and how it brings a pleasant and unexpected element to the visitor experience.

We look forward to Cincinnati Art Museum’s continued leadership and creative design for their Slow Art Day in 2020!

Ashley

QUT Art Museum’s Slow Art Day 2019: “Want more!”

QUT Art Museum and their sister gallery, William Robinson Gallery, joined Slow Art Day for the first time in 2019, and according to their visitor survey, people left the museum and gallery wanting more.

Two of Queensland, Australia’s premier visual art institutions, QUT Art Museum and William Robinson Gallery asked participants to look slowly at five selected pieces in the exhibition Exchange value, which offered documentary photography by Gavin Watson.

Participants spent at least 10 minutes viewing and discussing each of the artworks with Sarah Barron, Public Programs Officer at QUT Art Museum.

Slow Art Day participants viewing works by artist Gavin Watson in the exhibition Exchange value at QUT Art Museum.

Here’s what some of the participants said:

Slow Art Day is such a great idea. Wonderful to take time to absorb and chat about the artworks.”

Wonderful and insightful time. It opens up the art world to spend time with others discussing the works.”

Loved it. Informative and reflected everyone’s ‘way of seeing’ the photographs.”

Fun!

Marvelous! Amazing! Beyond!

What a great event – want more!

We look forward to seeing what more QUT Art Museum has in store for Slow Art Day 2020.

Ashley

Multi-sensory Slow Art Day at BOZAR

BOZAR Center of Fine Arts in Brussels, Belgium hosted participants ages 10 to 70 in their multi-sensory 4th annual Slow Art Day in 2019.

Attendees focused on the exhibition Bernard van Orley: Brussels and the Renaissance, where they meditated in front of the rich landscapes within Bernard van Orley’s tapestries while listening to polyphonic renaissance music. Visitors also looked at portraits of the powerful but tragic Margaret of Austria while listening to her life story.

Participants reportedly went home with peaceful smiles.

We love to hear of such creative Slow Art Days, and look forward to BOZAR’s participation in 2020.

Ashley

Kelowna Art Gallery’s First Slow Art Day

This year marked the first Slow Art Day at the Kelowna Art Gallery in Kelowna, BC, Canada. Alison Trim, visual artist and graduate student in the MFA program at UBCO in Kelowna, along with the Gallery’s Public Programming Assistant Ryan Trafananko together hosted an afternoon that combined art exploration and information about the Poetics of Space exhibition.

Trim and Trafanako reported that many participants loved learning the art of slowing down and fully experiencing art — especially with this exhibition, which focused on the experience, creation, and dynamics of space.

Participants enjoying the Poetics of Space exhibition. Slowly.

We were very happy to hear that their first Slow Art Day went well, and are looking forward to Kelowna Art Gallery’s participation in 2020.

Ashley

Birmingham Museum of Art Celebrates 9th Slow Art Day

The Birmingham Museum of Art in Birmingham, Alabama participated in their 9th annual Slow Art Day, where Master Docent Marlene Wallace won new converts to the art of slowing down by observing and discussing 5 selected paintings from the museum’s collection. 

A first-time participant (above left) from the University of Alabama was so inspired that she will be writing a paper about the artwork that she and docent Marlene Wallace (above right) stood in front of: Floral Garland with Holy Family (Descriptive) by Jan van Kessel the Elder, Flemish, Antwerp 1629-1679.

When we originally started Slow Art Day, we had hoped that museums would integrate a variety of slow looking exercises into their regular programming throughout the year. The Birmingham Museum of Art was one of the first to do that when they pioneered Slow Art Sundays.

We look forward to more innovation from The Birmingham Museum of Art including participation in their 10th Slow Art Day in 2020!

Ashley

Crocker Art Museum Brings Revelations

The Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento, CA, a long-time participant in Slow Art Day, saw great success again this year by helping participants slow down to enjoy the single painting GoGo Days Are Over. Enjoy The Party While It Lasts by Juan Carlos Quintana.

GoGo Days Are Over. Enjoy The Party While It Lasts 
by Juan Carlos Quintana

Nancy Hampton, Slow Art Day docent, led an open-ended discussion with a group of 10 visitors. Nancy reported that two of the participants, who lead a program for incarcerated women, had deep revelations about art and slowing down. “They saw how art can have a positive effect…[and] were excited about the Slow Art Day approach and how they might delve into looking and wondering.”

We love to hear how Slow Art Day has such applicability for a wide variety of audiences, including the incarcerated. In fact, several years ago an artist in Rome led a Slow Art Day in a prison there, which was reported to be a very powerful experience.

We look forward to Crocker Art Museum’s participation in 2020 – and to more ways to bring slow looking to more people in more settings all over the world.

Ashley

Multi-Sensory, Multi-Faceted Event at Byron School of Art

For their first Slow Art Day, the Byron School of Art Project Space in Mullumbimby – a small Australian town well-known for its artist colony – combined several multi-sensory activities along with food and yoga.

They started Slow Art Day with an artist talk by Marlene Sarroff whose exhibition 365 Days: You Get What You Choose is a meditation on everyday practice. Marlene spoke about her long history of working and exhibiting in artist-run spaces, about finding materials whilst not seeking them, and also about being awake to possibility.  

Marlene Sarroff speaking about 365 Days: You Get What You Choose   

After Marlene’s talk, participants began something organizers called The Slow Art Challenge. The challenge started with five minutes of silent looking at one artwork, then followed that with a group discussion. Next, participants took a few moments to enjoy cups of tea together, and then reconvened in pairs to observe a second chosen work in silence. For the final segment, they listened to music while looking at another artwork, and then held another discussion after that multi-sensory experience.

Artist Marlene Sarroff participating in Slow Art Day

And as if this were not enough, their Slow Art Day finished with an evening Slow Flow Yoga Class led by yoga instructor Shien Chee from Seeker + Kind yoga studio, their neighbor two doors down. Chee and Meredith Cusack, BSA Project Space Coordinator, wanted to integrate yoga, sound, smells, and sight. They came up with the idea of using the art as a way to talk about drishti (gaze point). As a result, Chee built her class around changing drishti – looking at different works, but also from different positions, and heights. Wow.

Instructor Shien Chee from Seeker + Kind Yoga Studio leading participants in Slow Flow Yoga Class

The Byron School of Art Project Space had such a good – and creative – first Slow Art Day that participants asked if they would do the exercises for other exhibitions, which they plan to do. They also look forward to participating in Slow Art Day 2020 and we look forward to having them back. They are a wonderful addition to the global slow looking movement.

Ashley

Hermitage Museum Succeeds with Free Admission

The Hermitage Museum in Norfolk, VA saw a terrific turnout for their Slow Art Day in 2019. 50+ participants attended, and enjoyed the art of slowing down.

To generate a strong turnout, they decided to offer free admission for Slow Art Day participants, and they also increased social media promotion.

Participants gave quite positive feedback including this visitor:

“I really enjoyed the concept, and taking the time to [slow down]….it forces you to really take in what you’re viewing.”

The museum looks forward to participating in Slow Art Day 2020.

Here’s a photo from the event below:

Ashley