Sweden’s Nationalmuseum Designs a Multi-Activity Event for Kids and Adults

For their Slow Art Day 2023, Sweden’s National Museum (referred to as “Nationalmuseum” in Sweden) offered a full day of all kinds of interesting and creative sessions. Museums around the world take heed – this is a great way to celebrate Slow Art Day. 

Under the direction of Johannes Mayer who coordinates the public events/programming, Sweden’s Nationalmuseum started Slow Art Day with a slow yoga class amongst sculptures in the sculpture yard, in the morning at 8:30 am before the museum opened. Participants were led by yoga teacher Victoria Winderud and the session ended with a fresh smoothie served in the café beneath.

Wow. We wish we could have been there.

Then, once the museum opened, young visitors (5-11 years old) were invited to go on a slow looking tour of a handful of paintings in the collection, led by museum staff, between 10:30 and 11:15 am. At 2 pm, adults were invited to do the same.

But that was not all.

There was also a storytelling session at the beautiful Strömsalen (a large room with both paintings and sculptures), led by Sara Borgegård, Intendent Pedagog for the museum (roughly – the “Superintendent of Pedagogy”), who told a saga based on one of the sculptures in the room.

Wait. There was more.

All day long, the Nationalmuseum offered “drop-in art-chill” sessions at the sculpture-hall/yard, where visitors could sit or lay down on a yoga mat and listen to a pre-recorded session, slowly observing the beautiful room.

And even that is not all.

Finally, all visitors could borrow a slow-looking guide to explore and discover works of art at their own slow pace.

Wow. Wow. Wow.

What a great design.

See some fabulous photos below.

Slow Art Day yoga with sculptures at Sweden’s National Museum, 2023.

Children slow looking at paintings at the National Museum for Slow Art Day,

2023 Children slow looking at paintings at the National Museum for Slow Art Day, 2023.

Slow looking at an artwork for Slow Art Day 2023 at the National Museum

Slow Yoga (a person in a resting pose behind a half-reclining statue) at the National Museum’s Slow Art Day event.

Slow Art Day yoga with sculptures at Sweden’s National Museum, 2023

The Nationalmuseum team of Sara Borgegård Älgå, Johannes Mayer and Helena Sjödin Landonthere tell us they are looking forward to Slow Art Day 2024, especially as they continue to receive such great feedback from visitors (note: 2023 was their fourth Slow Art Day). Further, since Slow Art Day usually happens around Easter and many tourists are in town, they plan to offer some of the programs in English as well as Swedish, to make it accessible to even more people.

Wow. We can’t wait to see what they come up with for Slow Art Day 2024.

– Phyl, Johanna, Ashley, and Jessica Jane

P.S. The Slow Art Day team has decided to ask the Accademia Gallery of Florence if they would host a yoga session around the statue of David. Right? Let’s all go!

Third Slow Art Day at Glen Foerd in Philadelphia’s Citywide Event

Executive Director Ross Mitchell at Glen Foerd in Philadelphia, PA reported that they had a very successful third Slow Art Day, featuring four works of art for an hour and a half of slow looking, followed by a group discussion.

“An Archive of Desire” by Jenifer Johnson (2020, Mixed Media, Porcelain. American)
“The Virgin and Child with the Infant St. John the Baptist” by Girolamo da Santa Croce (1480-1556, Tempera on wood. Venetian)
“The Letter” by Hobson Pitman, (1899-1972, Oil on Canvas. American)

“Lady Russell” by Sir Peter Lely, (1617 – 1680, Oil on Panel. Dutch, Active in England)

The following prompts were printed out and provided to partcipants to consider during their slow looking:

  • Look not only at what is pictured, but how it is pictured.
  • What kind of colors has the artist used? Are they bright, muted, or somewhere in between?
  • Can you see how the color has been applied or is the color smooth and blended?
  • Is there a sense of deep, moderate, shallow, or indeterminate space? Is that space consistent throughout the picture?
  • Is space clear and well defined or atmospheric? What about how the picture was painted gives it that quality?
  • Is there the suggestion of a directional light source, of light coming from a one side or the other?
  • Can you see lines anywhere, whether painted lines or strong edges created by color-to-color areas? Where are lines used and how?
  • What other observations can you make?
  • How is the installation piece different from the paintings?
  • What is the unifying theme of the installation?

Glen Foerd participated in a Philadelphia-wide Slow Art Day along with these other museums:

The Barnes Foundation
Philadelphia Museum of Art
Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens
Corridor Contemporary

We at Slow Art Day HQ are excited to see how Philadelphia has joined in the citywide Slow Looking movement.

We look forward to what Glen Foerd comes up with for Slow Art Day 2024.

– Ashley, Johanna, Jessica Jane, and Phyl

Engaging All Ages at the Art Gallery of St. Albert, Canada

For their 4th Slow Art day, the Art Gallery of St. Albert, Canada had 44 visitors who took part in slow looking while viewing their current exhibitions “Connected Currents” by Kelsey Stephenson, and “LandEscape” by Crystal Lee Clark.

Exhibition view of “Connected Currents” by Kelsey Stephenson.

The gallery also provided a free art activity for all ages where visitors could create a collage bookmark inspired by Connected Currents. Younger guests were encouraged to try an iSpy activity carefully looking around the gallery to find smaller sections of the different art pieces on display.

Image from St. Albert’s Facebook post.

The day was promoted on their events calendar, Facebook and Instagram pages in advance.

We at Slow Art Day HQ love the simplicity of St. Albert’s event, and how they engaged youth to slow down and appreciate art.

We look forward to seeing what they come up for April 13, 2024.

– Ashley, Johanna, Jessica Jane, and Phyl

P.S. Registration is now open for Slow Art Day 2024.

Korea’s First Slow Art Day at Choi Sunu House 

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, Yoo Jin-han, and Hansol Kim handed out question cards with prompts for slow looking (and talked about the slow looking movement).

Last, Professor Han Ju-yeon hosted a video viewing session and discussion with attendees (scroll down to see photos, as well as audio and video excerpts).

Visitors listening to the introduction of the Slow Art Day event.
Curator Song Ji-young introduces the event.
Participant contemplating the question cards.
Flyer for the event.

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.

Slow Art Day experience cards.

Below are a few links to audio and text excerpts of Choi’s works (in Korean): 

Choi Sunu, “Fruits More Beautiful than Flowers”
Choi Sunu, “The Empty Branch of Mid-Winter” 
Choi Sunu, “Light Green Radish” 

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.

Sharon Norwood Slowly at Washington & Lee University

The Museums at Washington & Lee University in Lexington, VA held their first Slow Art Day this year, led by Director of Museums Isra El-beshir and student curator Posi Oluwakuyide, and focused on “The Root of the Matter,” an exhibit featuring the contemporary art of Sharon Norwood.

A conceptual artist of Caribbean descent, Norwood aims to provoke an honest conversation about race, beauty, and differences.

The Root of the Matter V, 2016 Digital Collage by Sharon Norwood. Courtesy of the Museums at Washington and Lee website.

Slow looking participant. Courtesy of the Museums at Washington & Lee University Instagram.

As you can see, she uses the curly line to express identity and cultural relationships through various art forms, including ceramics, drawings, paintings, installations, and videos.

Her work is stunning and we recommend you check out their Instagram and visit their website to read more about Sharon Norwood.

We are happy to welcome The Museums at W&L to our movement, and very much look forward to seeing the art they focus on for their second Slow Art Day in 2023.

– Ashley, Johanna, Jessica Jane, Robin, and Phyl

P.S. Below is the digital flyer used to promote the event (note their use of tinycc in their print marketing, which makes it easier for readers to type in long urls – something we recommend other educators consider copying for their print materials).

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Mindful Art at Musée des Beaux Arts d’Orléans in Orléans, France

For their first Slow Art Day, Mindful Art hosted two days of mindfulness and slow looking at the Musée des Beaux Arts d’Orléans in Orléans, France. Organizer Marjan Abadie led the hybrid in-person and online event, which had 129 participants in total.

The Mindful Art Experience is an initiative by the Mindfulness Institute in Brussels, Belgium. Below is a website banner they used to promote the event.

Marjan Abadie leading participants through slow looking. CREDIT: Marjan Abadie
Slow Art Day participants. CREDIT: Marjan Abadie

We look forward to what Marjan Abadie comes up with for Slow Art Day 2023.

– Ashley, Johanna, Jessica Jane, Robin, and Phyl

7th Slow Art Day at Hofstra University Museum of Art

For their 7th Slow Art Day held April of 2022, Hofstra University Museum of Art in Hempstead, New York held an in-person event focused on works of art in their “Drawing Matters” exhibition, which included works from the museum’s collection of botanical and scientific illustrations, as well as engineering and architectural drawings.

Museum Director Karen Albert led slow looking and drawing exercises throughout the 2-hour event, which was limited to 15 attendees.

Slow Art Day Participants
Slow Art Day Participants

Below is the flyer used to promote the event:

Hofstra, which uses slow-looking techniques throughout the year during their classes, brought a light touch to the program (i.e., less lecture and more looking), which is what we love to see.

You can visit them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Linkedin, and learn more about their classes, which are provided to elementary, secondary, and university students, as well as teachers and others.

We look forward to what the Hofstra Museum of Art comes up with for their 8th Slow Art Day in 2023.

– Ashley, Johanna, Jessica Jane, Robin, and Phyl

War and Peace at El Nido Art Space in Los Angeles


On April 2, 2022, the El Nido Art Space presented by VC Projects in Los Angeles, CA hosted their first Slow Art Day, which focused on a two-person exhibition titled “War and Peace” (Ukrainian Voices) by Denys Kushnarov, a Kyiv-based filmmaker, and Yuri Boyko, an LA-based Ukranian-American photographer and artist.

The in-person event featured six short films about Ukraine, which Kushnarov is associated with:

  • “Make Music Not War!” (made after the Donbas region and Crimea Peninsula were annexed by Russia)
  • “Rocketman”
  • “United System”
  • “There is a Place” (dedicated to the Chernobyl tragedy)
  • “Annihilation”
  • Memorial Choir “Ukraina”

Kushnarov also wrote “A Message from Ukraine,” a letter to the world based on the current Russian invasion of Ukraine.

The exhibition also featured the photography series, “Departure and Arrival”, by Boyko, which presented written prose and a visual exploration of the LA-based Ukranian-American artist’s grandmother’s home in Ukraine. Boyko visited the home after 30 years of absence, and found that all family rituals and traditions were still intact. His photographs capture a past that has now been destroyed.

Yuri Boyko, “Departure and Arrival (X)”, photography, pigment print on canvas, 8.5 x 11 in. single edition
Yuri Boyko, “Departure and Arrival (I)”, photography, pigment print on canvas, 8.5 x 11 in. single edition
Yuri Boyko, “Departure and Arrival (IV)”, photography, pigment print on canvas, 8.5 x 11 in. single edition

Victoria Chapman, Founder and Director of VC Projects, curated the exhibition by contacting the two artists in the wake of the Russian invasion. She writes, “What could be more relevant for Slow Art Day … taking pause to reflect on art and humanity.”

The event was attended by 50 guests, and was promoted on their website, where you can find links to the videos and view more of the photography. You can also check out more from VC Projects and the El Nido Art Space on Instagram at VC Projects and El Nido Art Space. Below is a flyer used to promote the event:

We at Slow Art Day HQ are deeply saddened by the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, and are glad to see communities come together to reflect on art and humanity.

Ashley, Phyl, Jessica Jane, and Johanna

First Slow Art Day in Gard, France

On April 2, 2022, artist Christine Cougoule held her first Slow Art Day at Showroom Chris & Co. in Gard, France.

Installation in the showroom.

Christine led three one-hour four-step slow-looking sessions:

  • Welcome with a quick mindfulness session
  • Look slowly at 3 works for 10 minutes each
  • End with a quick mindfulness session
  • Discuss words that come to mind while sharing tea

We like this approachable design, which integrates mindfulness (and tea), and encourage the global community to consider copying what she’s done.

Below is some of the art she featured.

Canvas mixed media on paper.

Canvas mixed media: acrylic, ink, charcoal, hand made paper.

Christine publicized her event on both Facebook and Instagram in advance with the below flyer: 

She plans to lead more Slow Art Day sessions throughout the year. Keep a lookout for these on her Facebook and Instagram.

We are thrilled to welcome Christine to the Slow Art Day community, and look forward to her participation in 2023.

Ashley, Phyl, Johanna, Jessica Jane

Slow Looking & Mindfulness in Singapore

Singaporean gallery ARTualize participated in their 2nd Slow Art Day by offering their year-long Mindfulness with Paintings class for free on the day of the event, and throughout April. Sok Leng, museum instructor, guided participants to look mindfully and slowly at the painting “By the River Seine” by established Singapore artist Low Hai Hong. They then had a discussion about the feelings the painting conjured up.

“By the River Seine” by artist Low Hai Hong. Medium: Oil on Canvas. Year: 2001.

Photo credit: ARTualize.

“Looking at paintings slowly gave me a deeper appreciation of the painting and a better understanding of myself through the art.”

Michelle, Slow Art Day Participant

ARTualize’s Slow Art Day event was also featured on Singapore’s main news broadcast channel Chinese Mediacorp Channel 8 News a few weeks after the event, and was the first time Slow Art has been featured on Singapore TV.

You can watch the TV segment below.

Educators and curators may want to copy the simple design of their weekly 1.5 hour Mindfulness with Paintings sessions, which are held every Saturday throughout the year:

1 – Concept – Introduce mindfulness and basic mindfulness techniques. 

2 – Practice – Look at selected paintings slowly and mindfully (at least 1 minute for each painting). 

3 – Discussion – Reflect upon the experience and realize how different paintings (and for that matter, life in general) feel, when we are mindful and when we take our time to slowly savour.

When we originally launched Slow Art Day in 2010, we wanted, in part, to inspire museums to produce year-round slow looking programming – and that has happened. In fact, slow looking programming has become so mainstream that ARTualize began slow looking sessions *before* they later joined Slow Art Day. We love this development!

Check them out on Facebook and Instagram.

We also encourage you to look more at the work of artist Low Hai Hong, and read about his journey, including pioneering the painting of oil on Chinese rice paper.

Ashley and Phyl