It’s hard to believe how much Slow Art Day has grown and spread across the world since its inception in New York a mere 8 years ago. We’re looking forward to having 170+ venues from dozens of countries participate in Slow Art Day 2017. Slow Art Day has had a large presence in the UK since the beginning and this year venues from the National Gallery to the Ashmolean Museum are organizing events – so we were extremely excited to see this feature in BBC Culture on the slow art movement. Filmed at Art Basel Hong Kong, reporter Linda Kennedy discusses the merits of slow looking with a variety of artists and art critics.
Belgian artist Luc Tuymans in the BBC’s “How to Look at Art” video.
The Rubin Museum of Art in New York is hosting a Slow Art Day event for the third year in a row, and they have some expert tips for you to bring with you to your slow looking experience on April 8. Their advice?
Take longer — and longer — looks
Look at a piece for 5 seconds then turn around and write down five things to describe it. Do the same thing again looking for 10 seconds, then 20. Back-to-back drawing
In this partner exercise, two people stand or sit back to back. One person faces the object and describes it to the second, who draws it. Ask yourself questions
Some questions Sloan recommends you can ask yourself for deeper looking include: What is the first thing you notice about this artwork? Does this make you think of anything that you’ve seen before? What do you see that makes you say that?
The Norwalk Arts Commission is participating in Slow Art Day for the third year in a row, this time partnering with the Rowayton Arts Center in Norwalk, CT. Their event will coincide with the opening of Abstraction, a new exhibition at the Rowayton Arts Center featuring abstract paintings by local artists. The show was judged by New York artist and educator Riad Miah, who will also lead Slow Art Day participants in a conversation about the works.
Artist Bruce Horan with two of his abstract paintings that will be featured in the Rowayton Arts Center’s upcoming exhibition “Abstraction” and on view during Slow Art Day 2017. Photo: Erik Trautmann / Hearst Connecticut Media
Read a full write-up of the event in The Hour here, and if you’re in the area get your tickets here!
Thomas Struth Art Institute of Chicago II, Chicago, 1990 Phillips: Photographs
Slow Art Day founder Phil Terry was recently interviewed by Isaac Kaplan for Artsy Editorial. The editorial delves into the experience of looking at art, the length of time required to look at a work of art in order to “get” it, and how museums both help and hinder the practice of slow looking.
Phil says in the editorial, ““People in the art world generally know how powerful it can be to look at a work of art for more than seven seconds.” […] “I started Slow Art Day because everyone else doesn’t know this.”
Read the full article here, and let us know your thoughts below!
In November, Slow Art Day founder Phil Terry partnered with the All Stars Project to bring a group of youth and community members to El Museo del Barrio in New York for a day of slow looking and discussion.
Phil writes, “Museums and art are for everyone – not just the few. Slow Art Day and the All Stars Project, Inc. are working together to help more people learn how to look at and love art – how to walk into a museum and not feel intimidated, to approach art as if we are all included because we are.”
We’re starting the countdown to Slow Art Day 2017 – it’s just seven months away! 11 venues in the US, UK, France, and Belgium are leading the charge and are among our first hosts for 2017. We’re excited to welcome new and returning hosts in the months to come, and to celebrating Slow Art Day’s eighth (!) year as an official, worldwide event.
An excited young participant at a Slow Art Day 2016 event in Helsinki, Finland.
A report from host and museum educator Nina Montijn in Amstelveen, Netherlands:
We had a great Slow Art Day at the Cobra Museum for Modern Art!
In three organized art walks, visitors were challenged to look slowly, to genuinely take their time and lose themselves in the works of art. Participants looked with awe at four selected works, discussed with each other, learned from each other.
For those who preferred to look on their own we created two guides with several tips. Also we distributed notebooks and pens, so everyone could write down their discoveries. Quickly there were visitors watching and writing vigorously everywhere.
Afterwards visitors could chat about their experiences in the museum café whilst enjoying a complimentary beverage. Here we heard many enthusiastic stories about the tour. Even works of art that didn’t seem so interesting at first, turned out to be quite captivating.
In Chichester, England, Slow Art Day participants communed with five artworks in the cathedral and bishop’s palace.
Host Naomi Billingsley, the Bishop Otter Scholar at Chichester Cathedral, writes in her blog: “Although the Slow Art Day initiative is secular in origin … it translated well into a sacred space, and some of the participants said that they found it a spiritual experience. I’m thinking about experimenting further with this format, and perhaps trying an even slower viewing experience (people said that ten minutes went quickly).”
She shared participants’ comments, among them: Slow Art Day “created a space to see new things in works seen many times before.” And: “It is the joy of Chagall that stays with me.”
We had a wonderful Slow Art Day at HAM Helsinki Art Museum! People occupying the floors of the big gallery to draw on a huge paper together (some even for hours!), DJ playing songs fitting the day’s theme through headphones to our visitors and slow watching on our new HAMfulness guided tours.
— Aino-Marja Miettinen of Helsinki Art Museum