Slow Art Day 2015: The Eyes Have It in Napa, California

Three-time Slow Art Day host museum, the di Rosa in Napa, California, just sent this report on their event this year.

The most exciting part of this update is that they are considering adding a monthly Slow Art session to their museum programming. Our mission with Slow Art Day is not only to get great participation on the annual day each year, but also to encourage more museums and galleries to incorporate regular programming throughout the year.

– Phil

For the third year, the di Rosa (Napa, CA; www.dirosaart.org) participated in Slow Art Day. Again this year, the group of participants was intimate — quality trumps quantity! — giving everyone the opportunity to share observations afterward. As in previous years, we chose a mix of work — a large ceramic sculpture, two paintings, a three-dimensional work on canvas, and a kinetic sculpture. After viewing these works, we had a picnic lunch on property and a lively, energized discussion of what we had seen by looking slowly.

After last year, we thought about customizing our approach. Visitors had felt that the recommended 10 minutes of slow looking without discussing in front of the works made it difficult to recall precisely what they had observed.  As a result, we considered shortening the time spent to 7 minutes looking and then adding 3 minutes discussing in front of each work.

Ultimately, we went in yet a different direction. We adhered to the recommended 10-minute slow looking timeframe. And we added color photocopies of the five works to aid our lunchtime discussion. Those low-tech visual aids made all the difference. Participants could easily recall elements they had seen, talk about specific features of each work (color, texture, composition, etc), and share insights. And because the group included regular museum goers — even an art teacher — they had no difficulty verbalizing. At the end, participants and docents alike rated Slow Art Day 2015 a “10.” 

We’re now considering a monthly Slow Art Experience as a regular feature of our customized tours. And that would be in addition to participating in Slow Art Day 2016. In other words, di Rosa loves Slow Art Day! 

Michael McCauley
Dave Hight
co-docents for Slow Art Day 2015

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