Miniature Art Captivates at the Gardiner MuseumMay 23rd, 2023
People often ask us: what’s the best kind of art for people to look at slowly? And before we answer, they often offer what they think must be true – i.e., that only *large* scale art can maintain the attention of slow lookers. Our answer, however, (based on experience) has been that everything works *including* small-scale art.
We are glad to say that The Gardiner Museum in Toronto, Canada proved once again that tiny art captivates.
For their fourth Slow Art Day, The Gardiner featured Montreal-based self-taught artist Karine Giboulo’s “immersive reimagining” of her home, with over 500 *miniature* polymer clay figures arranged throughout the tiny rooms. The small figures are intended to invite viewers to reflect on societal challenges, such as connectedness and isolation during the recent pandemic, the impact of aging, the climate crisis, food insecurity, housing instability, and consumerism. And they are indeed captivating.
On Slow Art Day itself, participants were given a worksheet with questions that lead them through the process of slow looking, and included a space to sketch. They were then encouraged to speak with two members of the Gardiner Museum team: Sofia Flores-Ledesma, Programs and Education Assistant, and Emma Wan, Victoria College, Material Culture Intern.
We invite you to discover the power of slow looking at miniature art by downloading their worksheet below, then lazily gazing at the images from their exhibition that follow (and maybe trying a few sketches).
Sofia Flores-Ledesma wrote to us and said that not only did the miniatures dazzle, but that the conversations on the day of the event were so engaging that they did not take any photos as planned. They were just too busy listening to the captivated participants talk about their experience.
Every year, The Gardiner does something interesting for Slow Art Day, and we love what they did for 2023: i.e, featuring Giboulo’s miniature scenes of ordinary life, which offer hidden surprises (this is another pitch for you to download their worksheet and do some slow looking yourself).
We can’t wait to see what the Gardiner Museum comes up with for Slow Art Day 2024.
-Johanna, Ashley, Jessica Jane, and Phyl.
PS. Stay updated with events at the Gardiner Museum on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook.
Korea’s First Slow Art Day at Choi Sunu HouseMay 22nd, 2023
Ran Hee, the manager of the Choi Sunu House Memorial Museum in Seoul, Korea, hosted their (and Korea’s) first Slow Art Day on April 15 with the theme “Neurim & Nurim (느림 그리고 누림)”, which translates to “Slow and Enjoy”.
The event was jointly organized by the National Trust Cultural Heritage Foundation and Ewha Womans University Graduate School of Education participants majoring in art education, Kim Han-sol, Han Yu-jin, and Heo Bona.
Choi Sunu (1916~1984) was an eminent art historian and museum professional who served as the fourth director of the National Museum of Korea until his death. He devoted his life to define and propagate the beauty of Korean art and architecture through exhibitions and writings. The Choi Sunu House, where he lived from 1976 to 1984, is an expression of his aesthetics of simplicity and elegance, and has been open to the public since 2004.
Ran Hee and team created a three-part event:
First, curator Song Ji-young gave participants an introduction to Choi Sunu and his house.
Next, Bona Heo, Ewha Womans University graduate student, handed out question cards with prompts for slow looking (and talked about the slow looking movement).
Last, Professor Han Yu-jin hosted a video viewing session and discussion with attendees (scroll down to see photos, as well as audio and video excerpts).
The hosts prepared a few memorable excerpts from Choi Sunu’s works alongside a video. Participants were also encouraged to write a short note on postcards about their experience.
Below are a few links to audio and text excerpts of Choi’s works (in Korean):
We at HQ are glad to welcome the first Korean museum to the slow art movement, and look forward to seeing what the Choi Sunu House designs for Slow Art Day 2024.
– Ashley, Johanna, Jessica Jane, and Phyl
P.S. You can also follow Choi Sunu House on Instagram.
Sint-Pauluskerk Calls For More Churches to Join Slow Art DayApril 30th, 2023
Sint-Pauluskerk in Antwerp, Belgium, called on more churches to join the slow looking movement (more about that in a moment), while, at the same time, hosting its sixth Slow Art Day this year.
For their 2023 Slow Art Day, they invited visitors to take a closer look at two statues, one in marble and one in oak, of Rosa van Lima (the first Latin American canonized saint).
The slow looking sessions started with the marble statue, which depicts Rosa Lima holding Jesus as a child. Participants were encouraged to sit in chairs in front of the statue and look slowly for 10 minutes. They were provided the following optional, thought-provoking prompts to aid in the slow-looking, and were then encouraged to ask the guides about the person Rosa van Lima:
– What do you think the subject is?
– Why is the statue in this place?
– What did the artist want to say?
Next, the session moved to the statue in oak on the other side of the church, where visitors were invited to look slowly and discuss their impressions. The oak statue is part of a monumental depiction of the “Last Judgment: the ultimate baroque exhortation not to forget any sin during confession,” in the words of Armand Storck, scriptor for the church.
At Slow Art Day HQ, we love the team at Sint-Pauluskerk. Not only do they often send us the details in advance of their event, but, more importantly, they design events that take full advantage of the church environment to encourage contemplation and reflection.
To that point, we are also excited because, as mentioned, Storck and his team are taking a lead role in challenging more churches to join the Slow Art Day movement. In fact, Storck points out that while hundreds of museums participate in Slow Art Day, only three churches registered this year yet “what environment lends itself better to contemplative art experience than a church? “
We agree, and hope that more churches answer Storck’s question by joining our movement.
And we certainly look forward to what storck and team design for Sint-Pauluskerk’s seventh Slow Art Day in 2024.
-Johanna, Ashley, Jessica Jane, and Phyl
Slow Art Day 2023 Is Over – Now Our Work BeginsApril 17th, 2023
It’s a wrap!
Slow Art Day 2023 is now officially over.
Our community came together and produced another continent-spanning event – China, India, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Ukraine, Germany, Poland, England, Ireland, Brazil, Colombia, El Salvador, Mexico, U.S., Canada, and *many* other countries.
In fact, Slow Art Day 2023 featured about 200 total events (actually, more than that when you count those that didn’t register with us).
With the work of the museums and galleries done for this year, the work begins for the volunteer Slow Art Day HQ Team. We will spend the rest of 2023 compiling, editing, and publishing reports about each of these individual events.
We have two goals with these reports: 1) help all of you learn from each other; 2) build the bonds of this global community of educators, curators, gallerists.
Our first step is reaching out to each host and asking them to provide us with details, photos, and artifacts from their 2023 Slow Art Day events.
Then when we get their information, we take these five steps:
1. Write-up individual reports
Our volunteer team will spend about five hours working on each individual museum/gallery report – editing and crafting a good write-up of what every individual museum and gallery did and calling out what others might learn from their design.
2. Email your report out to our global community
When each individual report is done, we email it out to the thousands of educators, curators, artists and others on our email list.
We then post it to our website for the world to see.
4. Facebook, Instagram
And we also post each report to our social media channels.
5. Annual Report
Finally, we add each individual report to our Annual Report, which has become the Bible of the slow looking movement (note: the full Annual Report for 2023 will be published in February of 2024).
Thank you for another great Slow Art Day – and here’s to spending the rest of 2023 learning what each other did.
Ashley, Jessica Jane, Johanna, Maggie, Robin, and Phyl
P.S. Find all our previous Annual Reports in the Host Tools section of the website.