Slow Art Day Keynote at Tiempo de Arte

The Slow Art Day collective delivered the closing keynote last Friday for Tiempo de Arte‘s conference in Spain. Our two European HQ members, Johanna Bokedal (Sweden) and Jessica Jane Nocella (Italy) traveled to Spain while our U.S.-based founder, Phyl Terry, participated via Zoom from New York.

The conference took place in the Centro Botín: an arts centre designed by Pritzker Prize-winner architect Renzo Piano, in collaboration with Luis Vidal and Architects. It is located between the city centre of Santander and the historic Pereda Garden, and the bay.

Centre Botín, Photo Credits: Johanna Bokedal

The conference was opened by the Organizing Committee of Tiempo de Arte, the Director of Centre Botín, the Mayor of Santander, and by the Tourism Director of Cantabria. Then, Writer Carl Honoré gave a talk on “La Revolución Slow: La Magia de la Lentitud” (lit.: the revolution of slow: the magic of slowness). In his engaging speech, Carl stressed the importance of slowing down in a high-speed world. He also talked about the importance of what he calls “the slow paradoxes” – i.e., how sometimes you can slow down to go fast, or how disconnecting from your phone can reconnect you to the world around you.

Carl’s talk was then followed by different interesting roundtables on various topics, which ranged from sustainable collecting to the role of humanism in the digital world.

Carl Honoré, La Revolución Slow: La Magia de la Lentitud”. Photo credits: Johanna Bokedal

On the second day, the conference opened with a dialogue between the award-winning chef Jesús Sánchez, and the sculpor José Luis Vicario. They talked about how encounters and meetings can be an opportunity to slow down and discover the beauty surrounding us. This was then followed by a roundtable on art, beauty and health where experts in psychology, art, and art therapy talked about the benefits of art in different contexts.

Professor, Psychologist, and Writer Alejandra Vallejo-Nágera engaged with the audience in a slow-listening activity. She invited us to close our eyes, listen to two cellos playing, and then to communicate the music through our hands as if we had to express it to someone who was hearing-impaired. One last roundtable on tourism and art was held by the Mayors of Santander, Malaga, and Madrid.

Roundtable on Art, Beauty, and Health. Photo credits: Johanna Bokedal.

The conference closed with our talk Slow Art Day: Design by Letting Go, which we delivered both in-person (Jessica and Johanna) and remotely (Phyl).

We began with a cross-continent slow looking exercise focused on Hans Hoffman’s Fantasia, the piece of art that kicked off the slow art revolution back in 2008.

Phyl Terry engaging the audience in a slow-looking activity

We then showed highlights from the 2,000+ Slow Art Day events that have been held around the world. Finally, we emphasized the radically decentralized nature of Slow Art Day and our mission to create an environment of radical inclusion.

We really enjoyed giving this multi-language (our talk was simultaneously translated into Spanish), multi-continent, multi-media talk. And Johanna and Jessica, who had been working together for years but had never met, loved spending two days together in real life.

Slow Art Day team engaging with the audience.

Slow Art Day HQ would like to thank Merche Zubiaga, Zaida De Las Heras, and Charo Izquierdo for inviting us to speak at their Tiempo de Arte event. We look forward to continuing to work with them to keep building the slow art movement.

Special Message from Kyiv’s Slow Art Day

Hope you had a wonderful Slow Art Day 2022. We look forward to all of your post-event updates, which we will begin turning into written reports (and publish here throughout the year and then in our annual report at the end of 2022).

But today, on the day after Slow Art Day, I want to share this (lightly edited) message we received from Kyiv and the Khanenko Museum just before this year’s event.

I am Hanna Rudyk, a Deputy Director of Education and Communication at the Khanenko Museum in Kyiv, Ukraine.

The Khanenko Museum (officially: the Bohdan and Varvara Khanenko Nationam Museum of Arts), which holds the largest Ukrainian collection of art from around the world, has been a Slow Art Day host for the last three years.

This year we were also planning to host the event in our museum. But Russia’s war against Ukraine prevented us from going forward with these plans. So, we decided instead to switch our Slow Art Day to an online event focused on one artwork. We will show a very rarely exhibited piece of Chinese art and ask our followers to contemplate upon it and share ideas. In the afternoon, we will give time for our curator to add some comments.

I wonder, if our plans could be somehow reflected on the Slow Art Day Official website. We are truly committed to the ideas underlying Slow Art Day and we urgently need now to be more visible and supported.

Below is the artwork they looked at yesterday and the MS Word file they sent last night with the online prompts and some of the comments they received.

Hope you had a wonderful Slow Art Day and wherever you are, you think about our colleagues in Kyiv.

Those of us who love art – and love helping more people learn to look at and love art – we form a global city, and this year one of our neighborhoods is under attack.

Yet, our neighbors still found a way to celebrate Slow Art Day.

They inspire us and have shown us all how to live even in the most difficult moments.

And for that and many other reasons, they deserve *all* of our support and attention.

Phyl

P.S. Here’s the Word file with their prompts and comments.

Happy Slow Art Day 2022

Slow Art Day 2022 is happening now all over the world in more than 175 museums, galleries, hospitals, sculpture parks, and other settings.

Plus, many more people are simply finding ways to slow down today.

Check out Instagram for #slowartday to see photos and videos of what’s happening.

Screenshot of Instagram on Slow Art Day 2022 morning

I founded Slow Art Day as an antidote to the screen-based fast-paced multi-tasking world we were all creating back in the 2000s (Apple and Facebook were both clients when I first came up with the idea).

If you are an educator, curator, or artist leading slow looking sessions today, then know you are part of a global movement – that as you guide your visitors to slow down, so are many of your peers simultaneously doing the same thing all over the world.

And please take pictures and video. Post with the hashtag #slowartday. And send us your report.

Otherwise, whoever you are, go look at art slowly today.

Visit a museum or gallery. Or go online with longtime Slow Art Day leader, the National Museum of Women in the Arts.

Look at 5 works for 10 or more minutes each (the courageous might choose one work and look for an hour).

Meditate.

Breathe.

Shift positions. Look away and then look back.

Be open to the profound love you may experience when you slow down and really look at art.

Certainly allow yourself to see beyond what you *expect* to see.

Most of all, have a happy and slow day.

Love,

Phyl

Happy Slow Art Day Eve!

Happy Slow Art Day Eve 2022.

174 museums, galleries, hospitals, sculpture parks and other venues are hosting slow looking sessions all over the world – from South Africa to Slovenia, Singapore to Serra Negra, Melbourne to Manhattan, Oaxaca to Orléans, Verona to Vilnius, and many, many other places.

Check out the Instagram tag, #slowartday to see what these educators, curators, artists, and art-lovers are doing around the world.

And, most of all, have a happy and *slow* day of looking at and loving art.

Phyl and the Slow Art Day team

6 Days to Slow Art Day

Six days and counting to Slow Art Day 2022 – Saturday, April 2.

More than 170 galleries, museums, hospitals, and other venues are hosting a celebration of slow looking.

But some may ask: why slow art amidst war?

We have no high-falutin promises to make about the power of art, nor any particular insights about war and how to stop it.

We don’t even know how to use words to describe the terrible wars raging in Ukraine and other parts of the world (remember: there have been ongoing wars in Africa and the Middle East for decades now).

We can, however, point you to some art.

Start with The Financial Times and their survey of four contemporary Ukrainian artists, The Ukrainian artists making work as acts of resistance (article available free), which features Kinder Album (see below), Maria Kulikovska, Nikita Kadan, and Vlada Ralko.

Ukraine Will Resist” by the Lviv-based artist who works under the alias Kinder Album (see their Instagram for more).

And the one thing we can say is this: Make (and look slowly at) art, not war this Saturday, April 2.

– Phyl and the Slow Art Day team

P.S. If you are hosting Slow Art Day at your museum, gallery, hospital, or other venue, be sure to read our 2021 Annual Report for inspiration and suggestions for designing your slow looking sessions.

Eight Days Until Slow Art Day 2022

With Slow Art Day 2022 just more than a week away, I’m happy to say that the trend of citywide Slow Art Day celebrations continues.

In addition to Bloomington, Illinois and it’s *9* galleries coming together for Slow Art Day, Antwerp, Belgium has *8* museums, galleries and other venues hosting slow looking events this Saturday, April 2.

Meanwhile, London, England has *4* and Naples, Florida has *3* (see this list of venues for all the global sites).

Will we see more such citywide celebrations in future years?

I hope so.

I’m also excited to say that this year for Slow Art Day more than 170 total museums and galleries have registered with us. We know even more events are happening. (Note: If you are hosting a celebration of Slow Art Day and have not registered, then please do so here.)

Eight days left until the world comes together yet again for our annual celebration of the art of looking at and loving art.

Phyl and the Slow Art Day team

P.S. Don’t forget to consult our 2021 Annual Report for ideas on how to design your Slow Art Day sessions this year.

First Citywide Slow Art Day Planned

A group of nine galleries in Bloomington, Illinois is banding together to celebrate the first citywide Slow Art Day planned anywhere in the world.

In 2020 during the pandemic, Pamala Eaton, owner and gallerist of Eaton Gallery in Bloomington, Illinois, was both the first in Bloomington to celebrate Slow Art Day and the first in the world to do so with a ‘drive-by’ window display (done because of the pandemic). With the pandemic still raging in 2021, Eaton hosted another drive-by.

This year, however, she organized eight other galleries to join her in *another* first – a citywide celebration of Slow Art Day in this community that is an important link in the historic U.S. Route 66.

See the map of all the galleries and read more about their citywide plans in this article in Bloomington’s newspaper, The Pantagraph.

We hope this inaugural citywide Slow Art Day event is just the first of many citywide celebrations to come.

Best,

Phyl

P.S. If you get some good press, or are doing something innovative with your Slow Art Day 2022 and would like to share it in advance with the global community, then please get in touch.

Learning to Look from LA Times’ Christopher Knight

Writing and talking about the art of slow looking can be difficult. Fortunately, Christopher Knight of the Los Angeles Times does it really well. And as we all get ready for Slow Art Day 2022, we can learn a lot from him.

A talented writer, Knight avoids ‘Art Speak’ and instead helps us slow down and look, as in this article, Baroque painter gets her due at last about the artist Artemisia Gentileschi and her painting Lucretia.

Knight looks slowly at her painting, Lucretia (below).

ARTEMISIA GENTILESCHI’S painting “Lucretia” (J. Paul Getty Museum)

Here’s a great example of his observational (and writing) skills:

Light falls from murky darkness at the upper left, establishing a spectral diagonal exactly opposite to the figure’s spatial thrust toward the upper right. The dagger points directly to the place where the two diagonals cross. X marks the spot. Head tossed up and back, eyes fixed heavenward, Lucretia is about to stab herself to death.

In this passage above, he doesn’t give us a lesson on Baroque Art, he helps us see the light and dark; the composition; the position of the figure; the twist of the body; the grasp of the dagger; the contrast between the surface textures of skin, fabric and metal.

Most of all, he shows us that it’s all right there in the painting if we just slow down and look.

Final point I’ll make: Knight starts with the art and only after he has reviewed the work itself does he then get into the history, the patriarchy, and even the ‘discovery’ and celebration of Gentileschi as a Feminist icon. This is precisely how we want Slow Art Day participants to look – first at the art, then and only then might we move to a discussion about the history and theory.

Hope your planning is going well for Slow Art Day 2022.

This year I will be leading a Slow Art Day event looking at sculpture art in Heisler Park, which is a lovely outdoor park above the Pacific Ocean in Laguna Beach, California.

Hedy Buźan
Founding Host, Slow Art Day

Hedy Buzan is an artist and founding host of Slow Art Day. She also helped launch the Laguna Beach Sawdust Festival, an annual arts festival in Southern California. 

Slow Art Day is committed to publishing posts like this from our hosts around the world. Here are some tips.

2021 Annual Report – Get Inspired!

Our 2021 report is now available for you to review.

Read it and get inspired by your fellow slow-art-loving educators, curators, and artists.

As of 2021, Slow Art Day events have been held in more than 1,500 museums around the world.

Yet, we continued our second decade during the second year of the pandemic with many museums and galleries still closed in spring of 2021.

Despite the closures, 110 organizations registered for Slow Art Day 2021, and we received 37 reports, which we catalog in this annual report as a way to encourage sharing of best practices among our global community.

So, take a look and get inspired as you design your 2022 slow looking sessions.

And thank you for helping us grow in our second decade (2021 was our 12th year!) – and for all you do to remind the world of the power of art to bring all of us together as humans deserving of respect and inclusion.

Best,

Ashley, Erica, Jessica Jane, Johanna, Maggie, Phyl, and Richard

P.S. We are thinking now especially of our Ukrainian colleagues (several Ukrainian museums registered for Slow Art Day again this year). We cannot imagine what they are going through.

Make (and Love) Art not War – Slow Art Day 2022

We’re excited that a growing number of museums in the Ukraine are joining Slow Art Day 2022. We thank them for reminding us all of our shared humanity (and love for art) in a time of tensions and troop deployments.

The latest Ukrainian organization to register is The Khanenko Museum, which holds Ukraine’s largest collection of European, Asian, and ancient art.

Of course, Slow Art Day 2022 will be happening not only in Kyiv, but all over the world.

In fact, it will be our 13th annual celebration of the power of slowing down, looking at, and loving art.

Educators, curators, artists and others have planned wonderful sessions everywhere from South Africa to Brazil, Mexico, Singapore, France, Italy, Germany, Sweden, Spain, Finland, UK, Belgium, Australia, Latvia, Slovakia, Hungary, Poland, New Zealand, across the U.S. and Canada, and many other places and spaces around the world.

If you have not yet registered to host a Slow Art Day event, then please sign up.

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

P.S. Our 2021 annual report comes out next week and is chock full of great ideas to inspire you in the design of your 2022 sessions (while waiting, you can review the 2020 and 2019 reports).