The Rubin Museum in New York has been a longtime leader in the Slow Art Day movement.
In 2016, they published a terrific article with tips on slow looking. You can read the article here:
SLOW ART DAY: MAKE YOUR NEXT MUSEUM VISIT MORE MINDFUL
The Rubin understands how hard it is for most people to slow down. “It’s not easy for most people to sit with one piece of art for more than a few moments.”
They emphasize that this activity, if practiced continuously, will bring great joy for decades. “…the deep looking encouraged during Slow Art Day is a lifelong skill that will continue to provide rewarding experiences in museums and galleries for years to come.”
We couldn’t agree more.
We think this simple concept is important – especially in this age of multi-tasking where the emphasis is placed on speed. We started Slow Art Day in 2009 to provoke a new way of seeing in the midst of the blindness that this screen-based world is creating.
The Rubin Museum is hosting Slow Art Day again this year – if you’re in the New York area, we hope you’ll join them!
Listen to the Slow Art Day live podcast recorded Tuesday, September 12, 2017 with Slow Art Day hosts around the world and our special guest Christian Adame, longtime Slow Art Day host and Assistant Education Director at the Phoenix Art Museum. Christian designed and piloted the Slow Art & Mindfulness Summer Series at the Phoenix Art Museum this summer.
He talked us about this pilot program and what they learned and answered questions from listeners.
You can download the podcast or listen to it below.
Host Sabine Klement writes,
Slow Art Day 2017 in Cologne took place at Jörn Keseberg’s studio in Köln-Ehrenfeld, one of the city’s most vibrant and trendiest districts, home to many artists’ studios and creative entrepreneurs.
There was a tough competition going on between beautiful, sunshine, the local soccer club having a derby and our quite avantgarde, subcultural, non-profit art event – yay! But it still worked out fabulously with about a dozen curious participants, willing to communicate on art with each other.
Instead of looking eight seconds at each artwork – the average museumvisitors’ attentionspan – we donated ten minutes to six (oops, one plus…) pre-selected art objects. As a result of hosting Slow Art Day for several years, I decided to give a signal every ten minutes to let the visitors know when to change their site. In the beginning most find it challenging to fix their attention for “such a long time” at one item. But the ability (or willingness?) to concentrate and to get involved more deeply grows swiftly.
As an artist, Jörn Keseberg is engaging with the connections between technology, nature, art and man – topics that concern every modern human being. He composes objects that captivate every viewer’s interest instantaneously with an unique mixture of beauty and weirdness, even horror. He frequently combines natural materials like time-worn rare timbers, small animal-bones or leaves with electronic components as parts of hard disks and draws on unlimited resources of aesthetically appealing bits and pieces. Accordingly there was an abundant supply of inspiring details to detect and ideas to discuss for the participants – we couldn’t manage to wait until the obligatory “after-show-meeting!” Very happy visitors and promoter had coffee and cake afterwards at the café around the corner!
A huge THANKYOU♥ to the artist for inviting us to his studio! Looking forward to do it again next year, April 14 ;).
The Museo de Eduardo Carrillo is a virtual museum with a web-only presence, but they didn’t let that stop them from participating in Slow Art Day 2017! On April 8, they encouraged their audience to engage in a virtual slow looking and discussion session.
Their instructions to their followers were:
Starting at 7AM, use your cell phone to visit Museo Eduardo Carrillo’s online gallery, presenting art by painter Frank Galuszka with an essay by Christina Waters.
Richly textured paintings and narrative complement each other. As does the exploration of the central theme in many of the paintings highlighted here “On View.”
On Slow Art Day choose one of Galuszka’s paintings, spend at least five minutes looking slowly at it and then post a comment on Museo’s ON VIEW page.
Comments from participants included:
I’ll tell you what I see in Frank’s beautiful works of art. I see various demonstrations of how the our quantum universe works shown in a painting. As important to me is what isn’t the focus of the paintings (the background) and its relationship to the focus or central theme. They are great demonstrations of the “particle-wave” theory of quantum physics. Out of a background of uncertainty or potential (waves) is contrasted a central character or theme (particles). But the painting shows the visual and the non visual world it is all “one.” What materializes out of a field of unlimited potential is what the observer (artist) wants to see.
I had already viewed Frank’s paintings. The one that I liked the most was “The Threshold.” I interpret that as 2 individuals on different journeys, about to step over the threshold from their journey to the journey the other has taken. Neither journey is better than the other person has endured. Each one trying to leave pain and sorrow behind,
i.e. the broken glass, the dead rabbit, the sharp saw blades, the broken/leaking pipe, the rough road – all obstacles along their way.
Host Rachael Nease at the deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum in Lincoln, MA, writes of their Slow Art Day 2017 experience:
This was the first year that deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum decided to take part in the event, but it will not be our last!Our museum guide, Judith Scott, led some close-looking of both painted and sculptural artworks featured in our Expanding Abstraction: New England Women Painters, 1950 to Now exhibition and our permanent sculpture park collection. The sculptural piece was a brave choice – a male nude formed in cast iron that has been intentionally allowed to age over the years with a rust patina. One of our Slow Art participants admitted he had been coming to the museum and avoiding this sculpture for years, but the opportunity to look closely and discuss the object had given him a new appreciation for the sculpture.The photo is of part of the group with Maud Morgan’s Gold Coast II. Taking time to really look at this seemingly simple painting, our visitors were surprised at the details they were able to pick out and discuss – we actually had to pull them away to move on to the sculpture!At the conclusion of the event, one of our participants summed up her experience, telling us that she had never thought to slow down to appreciate the art that she loved and often visited. The experience, she said, will change the way she looks and experiences artworks.
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.
Watch the full video here!
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.
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?
Read the full article on AM New York here.