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.”
Check out photos from the visit below!
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.
I really think Slow Art Day is a keeper!
In need of some great DIY activities for the kids this summer?
Take inspiration from our 2014 host The Georgia Museum of Art’s Slow Art Family Day!
– Rachel & Karen
Christine Campana from the Art Gallery of Algoma wrote a great summary of her Slow Art Day experience from just over a month ago:
Walking through the Art Gallery of Algoma during Slow Art Day leisurely examining 5 pieces of art was a worthwhile experience; not only was I given the chance to really pay attention to aspects of the works that I had previously not taken the time to truly appreciate, but the experience allowed me to converse with others and discover their interpretations.
The Art Gallery of Algoma put together a handout with photographs and descriptions of the pieces chosen. The pieces were picked by 5 different locals, ranging from artists, to art advocates, to novices, who each discovered something new by engaging with the pieces for longer periods of time than they normally would have.
Regarding the Tom Benner fibreglass, paint, leather, and mixed media piece titled “African Wild Asses,” Teddy Syrette explained in his description that he chose the piece because “it is almost like it’s a grouping of animals, they’re trying to get some place better . . .They’re all different but all collective.” As I stood at different points around the piece with various participants, it definitely became clear in how many ways this piece could be seen.
With a shorter look at the piece, one participant revealed that she found the similarities of five synthetic animals moving in the same direction to be almost unnatural, while through a longer period of observation, another participant began to notice the differences in the animals and began to assign them their roles in the pack. She also began to see a slight shift in the direction of one of the sculptures that suggested they were starting to veer off course. Her creation of a story where each of five very similar animals had a particular character based on their visual features was only possible by really taking the time to notice these distinctions.
While “African Wild Asses” was analyzed through observing the animals carefully, “A Landscape” was enjoyed thoughtfully looking up at the piece from the floor. The arts advocate who had chosen the piece stated that she had done so because the large sphere, the focal point of the piece, “draws me in.” The wood and copper work included a total of three pieces, but, as the participant who had chosen the piece also felt, people could not help but be absorbed and overwhelmed by the immensity and beauty of the copper orb.
While hints of colour were visible within the oxidized copper of “A Landscape”, colour was far more pronounced in Gabriela Benitez’ “Rojo y Blanco.” In mine as well as others’ opinions, the vivid greens and reds overlaid with white chaotic lines released emotion which was only multiplied the longer the work was viewed.
Each of these pieces as well as the other works chosen, including a multimedia piece by Cheryl L’Hirondelle and another sculpture by Tom Benner, gave me the chance to pose and answer questions and see art from new (and many more) angles. As I walked through the gallery, I was certainly able to appreciate the value of looking at art slowly and engaging with others to discover some amazing insights I never would have thought of on my own. Taking my time with art was a positive and rewarding experience, however, I was not so successful with the food; I had a hard time treating the slow lunch served after with the same patience–it was just too delicious!
A note from di Rosa host Michael F McCauley:
Slow Art Day 2014 at the di Rosa (Napa, CA: www.dirosaart.org) was the second year we participated. Again this year, the group of participants was intimate – all the better to share observations. And again I was the docent/guide for our slow art lookers. I chose a mix of mediums – two sculptures, two works on paper, and one painting. After viewing these works, we had a picnic lunch on property – the day was sunny and mild — and we discussed what we had seen, including whatever surprise element we had noticed by looking slowly. Given those basics, we’re now thinking about customizing our approach for next year. The recommended 10 minutes of slow looking without discussing seems too long. Next year, we’ll likely spend 7 minutes looking and 3 minutes discussing at each work. We’ll lunch and chat about what we saw, as we did this year. But because it is difficult to recall specifics about each work, after lunch we’ll return to the galleries for an additional viewing of each work. This will reinforce the discussion and likely open up new insights based on everyone’s observations. We’ll still follow the basic structure of Slow Art Day, but alter it to accommodate our somewhat unique situation. (Visitors to the di Rosa Collection may not return to the galleries without a docent/guide.) We’re looking forward to next year and hope to include more participants.
View the humorous promotional video for our Greensburg, PA event below!
And don’t forget to sign up to participate here.
The Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum located on the main campus of Florida International University, Miami , Florida is proud to host its second Slow Art Day. As a Smithsonian Affiliate, we have exciting and world class exhibitions on view. This Slow Art Day is dedicated to the memory of Helen Venero, a dedicated docent, volunteer, and art lover who helped us launch with great enthusiasm our first Slow Art Day.
This Slow Art Day participants will get a chance to “slow down” in our grand galleries with Our America: the Latino presence in American art exhibition. Each participant can pick up a visual analysis worksheet if they wish to use as they are looking. Bring your lunch or purchase one at our nearby food court and then join others on our beautiful terrace overlooking a lake.
Parking is free on Saturdays.
Curator of Education
Sign up to participate in this event here.
This jewel-sized exhibition features 23 paintings, drawings, and bronzes from SFMOMA’s internationally acclaimed collection of the work of Henri Matisse, joined by four important paintings and drawings from the collection of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. Celebrating the Bay Area’s early and long-standing enthusiasm for the French artist, the exhibition traces four decades of Matisse’s career, from a Cézanne-inspired still life from the turn of the last century to his richly patterned interiors from the 1920s and 1930s. Of special note are the vibrantly colored pictures from the artist’s Fauve period, from 1905 to 1908, when Matisse first rose to prominence as a leader of modern French painting.
San Francisco Museum of Modern Arthttp://www.sfmoma.org/exhib_events/exhibitions/571