Beauty from Brokenness: Slow Art Day in Ljubljana, Slovenia


For their third Slow Art Day, Galleria l’arte di seta in Ljubljana, Slovenia, partnered with Elnovaspace Education Center to host three events in the period between April 13th – 18th, 2023 on the theme ‘Beauty from Brokenness.’

Artwork by artist Ruth Korthof
Slow Art Day participant, 2023, viewing artwork by artist Ruth Korthof
Slow Art Day participants, 2023, viewing artwork by artist Ruth Korthof

All events took place at the premises of Elnovaspace, Cigaletova 5, Ljubljana, Slovenia.

There were 3 main events:

  • April 13th opening
  • April 14 and 15 slow art looking (in person, individual guests)
  • April 18 conversation with the artist


Each event started with slow looking for 10 -15 minutes. They followed that by asking each participant to share their thoughts and reflections, and then concluded by talking about the ‘beauty of brokenness.’

Gallery founder, Lidija Drobež, said that “the common experience of looking slowly and the intriguing topic of beauty from brokenness jointly led to honest, meaningful and open discussion.”

Artist Ruth Korthof had no active role during slow art looking, but on April 18th she was actively involved as a participant. Later she said the following about the event:

We really like the way Galleria l’arte di seta approached this Slow Art Day and their three-day design with a focus on a single artist could be a good model for how other galleries might want to approach designing their own slow looking events.

Here at Slow Art Day HQ we were ourselves quite taken by the theme, and find Ruth Korthof’s art captivating. Porcelain is fragile, breakable, and beautiful, just like much of our world (and, of course, note the proximity of the Ukraine War and the threats Latvia is itself experiencing).

We look forward to whatever Galleria l’arte di seta and Elnovaspace come up with for their next Slow Art Day.

-Johanna, Phyl, Ashley, and Jessica Jane

PS. Stay up to date with Ruth Korthof and Galleria l’arte di seta through their Instagram.

PKULTRA’s Binary Encoded Slow Art Day

For their second Slow Art Day, the art gallery PKULTRA, in Seattle, WA, invited visitors to look slowly at the art of gallery owner, Paul Kuniholm – a public artist who works in sculpture, video, mural art, time-based work, as well as digital and, for this exhibit, binary art.

Binary encoding artwork by Paul Kuniholm.

The binary-encoded art series for Slow Art Day consisted of wayfinding and fine art paintings using binary encoding of various light-hearted narratives from emojis, positive affirmations, cognitive behavioral therapy maxims and cheerful quips.

In addition, Kuniholm hosted a live hour-long audio ‘slow’ podcast with lots of silence, random conversation with passerbys, and others during the gallery’s Slow Art Day.

At one point during the podcast, Kuniholm reports that during his training at the Seattle Art Museum he was told the typical visitor spends 7 seconds looking at any individual artwork (a statistic we’ve seen and reported on before). He also muses about the ‘equation’ for slow looking.

After participants looked slowly, they were asked to take a whimsical exit survey (see below).

  • 1. ARE YOU SATISFIED WITH YOUR SLOW ART DAY EXPERIENCE TODAY?   [    ] YES    [     ] NO
  • 2.  HAS ANYONE COMMENTED, YOU SEEM NUMERICAL? A TEN, ETC [    ] YES    [     ] NO
  • 3. DO YOU HAVE A SECRET “MAGIC” NUMBER? [    ] YES    [     ] NO
  • 4.  DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE NUMBER SONG? [    ] YES    [     ] NO
  • 5.  DO YOU USE YOUR FINGERS, DIGITS, FOR MATH?        [    ] YES    [     ] NO
  • 6.  ARE YOU ALWAYS LOOKING OUT FOR NUMBER ONE?        [    ] YES    [     ] NO

At Slow Art Day HQ we are glad that PKULTURA has joined the Slow Art Day movement, and hope that other artist-run galleries take inspiration to host their own event in 2024.

-Johanna, Phyl, Ashley, and Jessica Jane.

P.S. Check out their Instagram for more information about PKULTURA.

The Florence County Museum Leads the Way

For their second Slow Art Day, The Florence County Museum in South Carolina invited visitors to take a slow look at several artworks by local artist William H. Johnson (born 1901), featuring scenes of the everyday life of African Americans during the 1930s and 1940s.

On the day, all visitors were offered a printed slow looking guide (see below) and a Slow Art Day button when entering the museum. Visitors could choose between walking around on their own or taking part in a guided group tour, which were available throughout opening hours 10am-5pm. Refreshments were available in the afternoon (nice touch!).

Here’s the guide:

The Florence County Museum did a great job with their Slow Art Day – a simple effective printed guide, a lovely button, focus on one artist, a choice between a formal tour and self-guided reflection, and, finally, even refreshments.

What an effective holistic approach to the day.

Other museums and galleries may want to consider copying their design (or at least their guide).

The Florence County Museum is leading the way in celebrating Slow Art Day and we look forward to what they come up with for Slow Art Day 2024 (registration is open!)

-Johanna, Phyl, Ashley, and Jessica Jane

PS. Stay up to date with the Florence County Museum’s news and exhibitions through their Instagram and Facebook pages.

Slow Art Day with Rosé at the Bula Barua Gallery

For their first Slow Art Day, the Bula Barua Gallery in St. Petersburg, Florida, hosted an event called “Rosé and Fine Art.”

Arriving guests were welcomed with a glass of wine or water and given a slow tour of The Bula Barua Gallery. Each artwork had a QR code, which revealed the artwork’s story and description. 

Slow looking participant at the Bula Gallery, 2023

The Bula Gallery space

Bula Barua is an artist whose conscientious approach to painting fits in well as a slow making approach. In her own words:

“I take a lot of time to plan out my paintings before I pick up a brush. I first start with a sketch and then graduate to pigments and paints. It often takes hundreds of layers of color to bring my vision to life […] This entire process from start to finish can take weeks or months, depending on the size of my canvas and which materials I use.”

Bula Barua. Statement from the Bula Gallery Website.

At Slow Art Day HQ we hope that more individual artists copy Bula Burua and host Slow Art Day events in their galleries and studios. It’s a great way to deepen their relationship with their followers, fans, and potential buyers.

We look forward to what Bula Burua comes up with for Slow Art Day 2024.

-Johanna, Ashley, Phyl, and Jessica Jane.

Gateway to Himalayan Art Workshop at Lehigh University Art Galleries

For their fourth Slow Art Day the Lehigh University Art Galleries in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, extended gallery hours and presented a free community workshop in partnership with Shanthi Project, that connected with works on display in the Gateway to Himalayan Art Exhibition

Image: Lobsang Drubjam Tsering. Medicine Buddha Palace (Copy of first painting from the set of the Tibetan Medical Paintings from Mentsikhang Lhasa) Rebgong county, Qinghai Province, China; 2012-2013 Pigments on cloth. Rubin Museum of Art. SC2013.6
Slow looking workshop in Lehigh University Galleries with Dr. Kristin Baxter, 2023.

On April 15, participants were first led by teaching artist, Dr. Kristin Baxter in meditation and grounding exercises. They then spent some time looking slowly at a thangka painting of the Medicine Buddha on display as part of the exhibition Gateway to Himalayan Art (pictured above). Following their experience in the gallery, everyone was invited to create their own mindfulness journal to take home. 

LUAG also posted short videos on social media to encourage individuals to slow down and take time to view individual works of art, as well as on LUAG@Home – an online listing of resources on their website. 

At Slow Art Day HQ we love that Lehigh partnered with the Shanthi Project to bring meditative practices to their event. Meditation and slow looking are closely intwined as demonstrated by what the Rubin Museum of Art, the Phoenix Museum of Art and others have done since the beginning of our movement.

We look forward to whatever Lehigh University Art Galleries come up with for Slow Art Day 2024.

-Johanna, Ashley, Phyl, and Jessica Jane

Tea, Biscuits, and Year-Round Slow Looking

This year Galleri Pictor and Munka folkhogskola (a Swedish folk high school and adult education center) hosted Slow Art events several times during the year: once in April for Slow Art Day, and three times during the summer for art students taking summer courses at the center. The slow looking sessions all took place at Galleri Pictor and each session focused on a single artwork – Clara Lundgren’s “Det var här” (“It was here”).

Clara Lundgren (undated). “Det var här” (It was here). Acrylic on canvas. 69×82 cm. This artwork was used for the slow looking sessions at Galleri Pictor.

Arriving participants were welcomed and given a worksheet (in Swedish) containing instructions for eye palming along with slow looking prompts.

These instructions have been translated into English below:

Materials: Artwork, Worksheets and Timer

1) Eye Palming is a technique to relax the muscles around the eyes. Warm your hands by rubbing them together for a few seconds. Close your eyes and press your palms lightly against your cheeks, then cup your fingers over your eyes and eyebrows. Breathe slowly and deeply for three minutes.

2) Open your eyes slowly and look at the artwork with the same focus you had on your breathing.
– What do you notice?
– What colors, compositions, shapes and materials do you see?
– Does the artwork remind you of an event in your life?
– Do you think others notice the same thing as you?

If your mind wanders, try to focus again on the image. Look at the artwork for 10 minutes.

3) Relax again. Take a few deep breaths and notice any further thoughts you have about the artwork.

4) Write down reflections on the worksheet. Do this for 10 minutes.

5) Finally, we reflect together on our experiences of the image and how it felt to do the activity.


During the slow looking session Charlotte Fällman Gleissner, art expert and teacher at Munka Folkhögskola, kept track of the time transitions using a timer.

For the closing group reflection, Galleri Pictor repeated their successful concept from last year of sharing tea and biscuits together while participants discussed their slow looking session. Some of the reflections from this section of the event are included on the Pictor Gallery blog (in Swedish).

We love the focus on a single art work (the original idea for Slow Art Day was to spend one hour with a single artwork).

We can’t wait to see what Galleri Pictor and Munka folkhögskola come up with for Slow Art Day 2024 – and throughout the year. We also hope that future events include tea and biscuits, especially if they save some for us!

– Johanna, Ashley, Phyl and Jessica Jane

New Delhi’s First Slow Art Day – Gallery Art.Motif

For their first Slow Art Day (and as the first registered Slow Art Day in New Delhi), Gallery Art.Motif  opened up the gallery to slow looking enthusiasts.

Slow looking participants
Slow looking participants

The event began at 11:00 am. Visitors were first welcomed by Joan Lueth, Slow Art Day Host at the gallery, and Gallery Owner and Director, Mala Anneja. We at Slow Art Day HQ want to point out that Lueth first brought Slow Art Day to China when she lived in Shanghai, and now, since moving to New Delhi, she has continued her evangelism by working with Anneja to bring it to the Indian capital.

The design of their day was simple: Lueth and Anneja invited participants to choose an artwork they felt drawn to. All participants spent time looking slowly at the art, and then after their slow looking, everyone came together over lunch to talk about the experience.

The Gallery primarily showcases contemporary abstract and non-representational art from both upcoming and established artists, leaving plenty of room for interpretations and impressions to share with others during the Slow Art Day discussion component.

We thank Leuth for continuing to bring Slow Art Day out around the world and can’t wait to see what Art.Mofif Gallery come up with for Slow Art Day 2024, and hope that other galleries in India will also be inspired to join the slow looking movement.

-Johanna, Phyl, Ashley, and Jessica Jane.

Slow Art Day at Chichester Cathedral


For their third Slow Art Day, Chichester Cathedral in West Sussex, England, invited visitors to look slowly at five artworks ranging from the twelfth-century to present day:

  • Twelfth-century Romanesque stone reliefs depicting the Raising of Lazarus.
  • Graham Sutherland’s “Noli Me Tangere” (1961), which shows the encounter between Mary Magdalene and the Risen Christ who she mistakes for a gardener.
  • Marc Chagall’s stained-glass window (1977), illustrating Psalm 150.
  • Michael Clark’s “Five Wounds” (1994), consisting of five tiny depictions of the wounds of Christ in locations around the Cathedral, and symbolising the Body of Christ: two at the West end (the feet),
    two in the transepts (the hands), and one at the North side (the wound in Christ’s side).
  • Anne Grebby’s “Enfleshed Word” (2023), a temporary installation in the St John Chapel. This is a triptych altarpiece. The central panel depicts Jesus being baptized by John. The side panels consist of abstract designs depicting the Holy Spirit.

Plaster cast of a stone relief depicting the Raising of Lazarus, from Chichester Cathedral, West Sussex. Image source: the V&A museum collections.
Marc Chagall’s stained-glass window (1977). Photo by Arjen Bax. Image source: Wikipedia.

After a brief introduction, participants looked at each work in chronological order for 10 minutes. After an hour, they met up for a second hour of discussion over tea and coffee with John Workman, Cathedral volunteer, who was able to give additional information about the artworks.

The event was fully booked with a maximum of 10 participants in each of two sessions – one in the morning and one in the afternoon. John Workman noted that the small group size works the best in the Cathedral, and is appreciated by the participants.

Workman also sent us a quote written by Hans Feibusch, an artist who saw the importance of art commissioned for a sacred space and wrote this at the end of the Second World War:

But modern people come into church with the impressions of the outside world and all its
images…still quivering in their mind. Their beliefs are shadowy and elusive; they sit and
cannot focus their attention…But if there are paintings… their minds can fix on these,
quieten gradually and make their ascent into the world of which the paintings are only the
shadow.

Hans Feibusch

Hans Feibusch’s work “Baptism of Christ” (1951) hangs in the cathedral, though was not featured in the Slow Art Day event this year.

Workman himself wrote the following about hosting Slow Art Day:

Events like the Slow Art Day are ideal for a Cathedral like Chichester. It gives participants the
opportunity to spend time before the individual artworks. These artworks are in the location for
which they were created. They are there for a purpose; they have something to say, and I think that
the space itself has a part the play.

Chichester Cathedral, April 2012. Photo by Evgeniy Podkopaev. Image source: Wikipedia.

Chichester Cathedral is one of the three churches that participated in Slow Art Day this year, along with Sint-Pauluskerk in Antwerp, Belgium who has been taking the lead in the Slow Art Day church movement. We hope they can continue to inspire more churches to participate, and look forward to what they come up with in 2024.

– Johanna, Phyl, Ashley, and Jessica Jane

First Slow Art Day at 1 UV Gallery Studio

For their first Slow Art Day, the 1 UV Gallery Studio in Saratoga, CA, invited visitors to a slow looking and discussion session with Larissa Dahroug, artist, Reiki Master teacher, and owner of 1 UV Gallery Studio.

View of 1 UV Gallery Studio, Slow Art Day 2023. Photo: Larissa Dahroug

Larissa promoted her Slow Art Day event by reaching out to local artists, government officials, and local museum employees in advance of the day.

Flier for Slow Art Day 2023 at 1 UV Gallery Studio

She had a small audience for the day, but it was a good start.

And in June of 2023, Larissa hosted a Saratoga Chamber of Commerce event at her Gallery where she introduced the concept of slow business, the Slow Movement, and in particular Slow Art Day to the attendees.

She is also in touch with the leader of the Bloomington, Illinois Slow Art Day, Pamala Eaton, who has developed a 15+ gallery event in that city – which Larissa hopes to replicate in Saratoga.

At Slow Art Day HQ, we are excited to see another citywide movement develop, this time in Saratoga.

We look forward to whatever Larissa and the city of Saratoga come up with for Slow Art Day 2024.

– Johanna, Ashley, Jessica Jane and Phyl

New Slow Art Club in Rovereto, Italy

For their first Slow Art Day, The Slow Art Club, a recently-formed-group of Italian slow-looking enthusiasts in Italy, organized a trip to the region of Emilia-Romagna at the Fondazione Magnani Rocca in Mamiano (Parma) and to the Collezione Maramotti in Reggio Emilia. These collections, which are privately owned, showcase both national and international artwork.

While the Club is based in Rovereto, Italy, members come from all over Italy and visit museums to apply the slow looking approach.

For the event, the Club had two people from the group select three works from each collection for everyone to spend time with. They posted the artworks in their WhatsApp group. Members then went to the museums for a series of slow looking sessions. They then made notes and uploaded those to WhatsApp for a club-wide discussion.

Below are three of the six selected artworks:

Nicola De Maria, Sera, 1981 (front), Collezione Maramotti
Nicola De Maria, Sera, 1981 (back), Collezione Maramotti
Eric Fischl, The Philosopher’s Chair, 1999, Collezione Maramotti
Slow Art Club members looking and taking notes.

Several days after their slow looking sessions, they convened on Zoom to share their notes with each other and discuss their experience. They used Zoom’s breakout group feature to create small groups of 3-4 to talk in depth.

At Slow Art Day HQ we would like to thank Piero Consolati and the Slow Art Club for organizing the first such club that we know of in the world. And we hope they are launching a movement in Italy and other countries where art lovers will come together in clubs to support the slow looking movement.

– Jessica Jane, Johanna, Ashley and Phyl