Tate Modern Slow Art Day 2019: ‘Fantastic’

According to the visitor experience team at Tate Modern, Slow Art Day 2019 was “fantastic.”

Participants slowly looking at The Snail by Henri Matisse

They organized two one-hour slow looking sessions split between two artworks and, then, after the sessions, the team invited the visitors to come together for tea, coffee, biscuits, and a discussion about the whole experience.

Here’s what some of the participants said:

“A really interesting session. I’m more mindful of how to observe art in the future.”

“What a wonderful idea!

“I understand now how you can spend so much time in a gallery looking at art!”

“The combination of looking at art slowly and with other people is a real eye opener.”

“Really like the concept. As someone who can feel a bit intimidated by the art world this felt like a really nice way in and gives me more confidence to engage with art in the future.”

“A brilliant concept, lovely to think that this is going on all around the world.”

“I will definitely bring friends next time. Do it again!”

“I felt like a part of a group/community and was an hour well spent.”

“We can’t wait for next year to do it again,” said Adriana Oliveira, Visitor Experience Manager there at Tate Modern.

Phil

Slow Art Day Zoom Training

Last Sunday we continued our collaboration with museums from around the world and had a great session about how to use Zoom to run a virtual Slow Art Day event.

Watch the discussion below:

Or, you can also read a summary of the training .

We look forward to seeing these museums use Zoom as a platform for their wonderful virtual Slow Art Day events despite the Covid-19 crisis.

– Johanna

How to run a virtual Slow Art Day?

We just gathered museums from around the world and had a great roundtable discussion about how to run a virtual Slow Art Day amidst this Covid-19 crisis.

Watch the discussion below:

Or, you can also read a summary of some of the key questions and ideas as compiled by our Slow Art Day intern Johanna Bokedal.

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).

– Phil

Virtual Slow Art Day

Edward Hopper, Morning Sun, 1952, Columbus Museum of Art

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.

– The Slow Art Day team

Slow Art Day 2020 in light of Covid-19 – a note to the Slow Art Day community

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.

Please get in touch with us if you have any questions, comments, or concerns.

– The Slow Art Day team

Slow Art Day 2019 Annual Report

As we prepare for Slow Art Day 2020, we have finished our 2019 report with host summaries from around the world.

If you would like to review the full report, you can
download it here (PDF – 14MB).

Highlights 

  • SFMOMA hosted a ticketed lunch and slow viewing session, which sold out 
  • Chicago Art Institute trained young people to be docents for Slow Art Day engaging young people in a new way that gives them ownership over the experience 
  • Brazil’s largest foundation of contemporary art, Inhotim, hosted its first Slow Art Day 
  • Toronto hosted more Slow Art Day events than any city around the world 
  • Many venues held daylong events with food, music, dancing, and lots of slow viewing (check out this video from Ur Mara Museoa in the Basque country
  • Multi-sensory sessions took off around the world (close to 25% of reporting museums did some multi-sensory work, as you can see below) 
  • Phil Terry, Founder, delivered a keynote about Slow Art Day at a Toronto inclusive design conference  
  • Phil and the team started visiting cities (Toronto and Philadelphia to begin with) to bring together educators and curators to strengthen the community and share best practices 

We also continued to receive great press attention including from The BBCThe Art NewspaperSmithsonian Magazine, and many local and regional offline and online newspapers, radio, and television. 

Again, to read the full report including summaries from around the world, download our 2019 Annual Report here (PDF-14MB).

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?). 

Best,  

Phil, Ashley, Maggie, Johanna and the whole Slow Art Day central volunteer team 

PS –

If you haven’t already, you can register for 2020 participation via this link: https://www.slowartday.com/be-a-host

MIT List Visual Arts Center Hosts Sixth Slow Art Day

MIT List Visual Arts Center hosted its sixth Slow Art Day, the third led by Emily Garner, Public Programs Manager.

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.

A group of visitors look at Kathleen Ryan’s sculptures at the MIT List Visual Arts Center (Courtesy MIT List Visual Arts Center)

“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.

– Ashley

Hugs at Hawaii State Art Museum’s Fourth Slow Art Day

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.

Photo of group in gallery – STATE OF ART: new work exhibit.
Photo Credit: State Foundation on Culture and the Arts. 
Photo of group by “Portrait of Edith Kanaka`ole” by Willson Stamper, oil painting, 1980. Art in Public Places Collection of the State Foundation on Culture and the Arts.
Photo Credit: State Foundation on Culture and the Arts. 

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.

– Ashley

Newcastle Art Gallery in Australia Hosts Third Slow Art Day

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.

Gerda reported:

“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.

– Ashley

Successful First Slow Art Day at InterAccess in Toronto

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.

Image by Jennifer Toole. Courtesy of InterAccess.

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.

– Ashley

Drawing Encourages Slow Looking at The Hirshhorn

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.

Participants drawing one of the selected works at the Hirshhorn’s Slow Art Day event.

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.

– Ashley