This Sunday, March 29 at 11am NYC time, we plan to run a Zoom training session for educators and curators and others involved in virtual Slow Art Day planning. If you want to join that, then respond to this post in the comments (we’ll also be inviting hosts via email).
As more and more museums, galleries, and cultural centers around the world or choosing to or are required to close their physical locations given the rapidly escalating situation around Covid-19, many of our host institutions are scaling up their digital presence.
Some of our hosts are planning to offer virtual Slow Art Day events on April 4, for anyone from around the world to take part in. To see a list of virtual Slow Art Day events, click here and look for events marked “VIRTUAL EVENT.” More virtual events will be added in the coming weeks.
We hope you’ll join be able to join us virtually for some slow looking on April 4. If you’re interested in organizing a virtual Slow Art Day event, get in touch.
In light of the rapidly escalating global situation around COVID-19, we at Slow Art Day HQ reached out to our global network of hosts to find out whether 1) they were still planning to proceed with their scheduled event on April 4, and, if not, 2) whether we should postpone Slow Art Day to a later date this year.
We heard from many of our hosts that given their particular circumstances – size, location, audience – they plan to proceed with Slow Art Day on Saturday, April 4. However, many of our hosts have also been forced to or chosen to cancel their events. Given the approximately 50/50 split in responses, we have decided to go ahead with Slow Art Day on April 4, with only those venues which feel comfortable hosting an event continuing to take part.
For venues which have already cancelled, or will be forced to cancel in the coming weeks, we will schedule a second Slow Art Day later in the year. We do not know exactly when this alternate date will be, as we cannot say when things will be back to normal on a global level. We are, however, tentatively hoping to schedule for a Saturday in late September or early October.
Please check the list of 2020 venues to see which individual events have been cancelled for now and which are going ahead on April 4. This list will be updated continuously.
As many of our hosts reminded us, we all benefit from art and access to art, even and perhaps especially in times of public crisis. We hope you are in a safe place where you will be able to join a nearby Slow Art Day event on April 4. That being said, we also urge you to exercise an abundance of caution when deciding whether to take part in public gatherings.
We wish you all a safe, healthy and happy Slow Art Day, either on April 4 or on a date TBD.
We look forward to celebrating our 10th anniversary with you in 2020. Thank you for all you have done to make possible the 1,500 total Slow Art Day events over the years on every continent and land mass except for Greenland (who is up for Greenland this year?).
Phil, Ashley, Maggie, Johanna and the whole Slow Art Day central volunteer team
The event highlighted three sculptures by artists Kathleen Ryan and Kapwani Kiwanga. Participants were given a self-guided prompt sheet that suggested ways to compare and contrast the selected works. This was followed by a public talk inviting participants to discuss the works and their experience of slow-looking.
“We are always pleased to see the visitors give time that the works demand!”
Emily Garner, Public Programs Manager
Emily mentioned that she and her colleagues “are thrilled to participate in this global event amongst some great art institutions,” and we look forward to their participation in 2020.
Hawaii State Art Museum hosted it’s fourth Slow Art Day in 2019, led by two museum guides who work for the State Foundation on Culture and the Arts (SFCA) arts education program.
The guides led two groups of participants through different slow-looking exercises. One group focused on portraits using Visual Thinking Strategies as prompts. The other group focused on narratives they developed while slowly looking at three selected artworks.
Afterward, participants were encouraged to share their observations and thoughts with each other, and all were given a card with Visual Thinking Strategy prompts to take home with them.
Mamiko Carroll, Public Information Officer for the State Foundation on Culture and the Arts, reported:
People who were total strangers at the beginning were sharing deep thoughts and feelings with each other at the end. Some of the participants even hugged each other goodbye!
We love to hear how Slow Art Day can bring people together around meaningfully shared experiences of slowly enjoying art, and look forward to Hawaii State Art Museum’s participation in 2020.
Newcastle Art Gallery in Newcastle, Australia hosted a successful third Slow Art Day in 2019. Guide Gerda Maeder led a group of 25 participants to slowly view and discuss three selected artworks over the course of an hour:
Gloria Petyarre’s five-panel painting “Untitled (leaves)” from the FLORIBUNDA: from the collection exhibition
Tamara Dean’s photograph “Sacred Lotus (Nelumbo nucifera) in Autumn” from the FLORIBUNDA: from the collection exhibition
Takashi Hinoda’s surrealist sculpture “Around the Clock” from the SODEISHA: connected to Australia exhibition
Participants openly shared their personal impressions of each work, and imagined themselves both as the artist and as the subject. They considered sounds that might be heard, feelings that had been provoked, and imagined how it would feel to touch or make the work.
“Each work stimulated discussion on the relationship of the artwork to individual people’s lives, as well as to general topics such as lifecycles, Aboriginality, and contemporary lifestyle.”
Participants applauded the event, and left the gallery with reaffirming statements such as:
“I feel really good now.” “I enjoyed this!” “When is this happening again?”
We love to hear that Slow Art Day brings such good feelings, and look forward to Newcastle Art Gallery’s participation in 2020.
For their first Slow Art Day event, InterAccess in Toronto, Canada examined slow looking in relation to time-based media. They welcomed renowned artist Lisa Steele to the gallery to lead a two-hour tour of the exhibition of Daniel Young & Christian Giroux’s work Film Path / Camera Path with under-titles, which merges sculpture practice with film installation using high tech design and manufacturing technologies.
First, Lisa Steele led a discussion with participants on slow looking, and invited them to read aloud the artist-contributed texts that accompanied the show, written by John Barlow, Ina Blom, Eric Cazdyn, Geoffrey Farmer, Agnieszka Gratza, Daniel Hambleton, Erín Moure, Bridget Moser, Judy Radul, Patricia Reed, Reza Negarestani, Mohammad Salemy, and Michael Snow.
Next, the visitors were encouraged to take time viewing the three different components of Young & Giroux’s work in the gallery – the film screen, the mechanical sculpture, and an LED sign displaying the texts the participants had read earlier in the session.
We love to hear how organizations promote slow looking across diverse media, and look forward to seeing what InterAccess has in store for Slow Art Day 2020.
The Hirshhorn Museum & Sculpture Garden, one of the Smithsonian Institution’s 19 museums in Washington, DC, participated in its second annual Slow Art Day by merging two of their existing programs that encourage slow looking: How to Look at Art and Hirshhorn/DRAW.
The museum’s Slow Art Day event led 150 participants through four simultaneous 30-60 minute sessions paired with a single artwork. Participants were given tips on how to slowly enjoy artwork without having any background information on the work. They were also provided with seats and drawing materials, and were invited to slow down and enjoy the works through drawing.
A Smithsonian Fulbright Fellow participant stated:
“I am extremely grateful for the family-friendly drawing programs – my kids benefited more than I did! My 10 year-old spent 45 minutes drawing (she forgot that she said she was hungry) and was very proud of herself.”
We love to hear how Slow Art Day events foster joy and creativity, and can’t wait to see what The Hirshhorn has in store for Slow Art Day 2020.