Valerie Arntzen, assemblage artist at AMP Studio in Vancouver, Canada, invited Slow Art Day 2019 participants to look at one of two pieces of her artwork slowly and then discuss the experience.
Not surprisingly, Valerie found — as Marcel Duchamp once said — that the “spectator completes the work of the artist.” In other words, the Slow Art Day participants were active co-creators of Valerie’s art bringing new and varied meaning and perspective.
It’s great to have artists and “spectators” directly interact via slow looking. In fact, we invite artists all over the world to open up their studios for Slow Art Day and hope that more will follow Valerie’s example next year.
The Clare Gallery in Hartford, Connecticut hosted its third Slow Art Day last April featuring an exhibit of works by Ann Grasso, “Begging Bowls and Offering Bowls.”
They came up with an interesting design for their session.
Here’s what they did:
Each participant chose one work from the exhibit to study individually for fifteen minutes.
Then the group moved from piece to piece with the “student” of that work describing their reflections, questions and connections.
Following the individual study and discussion, viewers then studied three works at length as a group.
At the end, the artist Ann Grasso herself, who had observed everything up to that point, joined the dialogue.
Grasso told participants that she was delighted by the many details, shapes, and cultural symbols they saw through her work (including, of course, some she herself did not see).
Here at Slow Art Day we encourage artists to participate like this as long as they do what Grasso did here: wait to the end to share their reflections (otherwise, the artist can overdetermine what the viewers see or don’t see).
Patricia Curtis, who helps run the gallery, said the day went well and they are looking forward to 2020.
“Participants seemed to lose themselves in the meaning of the works and thoroughly enjoyed hearing so many insights and interpretations.”
Patricia Curtis, Pastoral Associate to the Clare Gallery Committee
The Clare Gallery is a not-for-profit professional exhibition gallery located in the Franciscan Center for Urban Ministry in Connecticut.
For Slow Art Day 2019, Mildura Arts Centre in Mildura, Australia hosted a day full of events including slow looking at the Sam Loyd exhibit, “The Lost Photographs of Socrates Smith,” as well as meditation sessions with local artist and yoga instructor Laura Freitag.
The Canadian Clay & Glass Gallery in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada participated in their first Slow Art Day in 2019 by inviting visitors to slow down with ceramics, glass and mixed media from Canadian artists.
After one hour of slow looking, visitors gathered for 30 minutes to discuss their observations about the material and meaning of the works, including the hidden qualities and stories they discovered.
According to The Canadian Clay & Glass Gallery, one participant said it was “exhilarating to meet new people and share so many diverse perspectives about the artwork.”
We look forward to the Canadian Clay & Glass Gallery’s participation again in 2020!
Philadelphia Museum of Art creatively integrated music and poetry with their 2019 Slow Art Day in celebration of National Poetry Month.
“Since poems slow us down to consider individual words, phrases, and the structure of language, we thought this would be a great way to encourage slow looking,” said Greg Stuart, Museum Educator and Public Programs Coordinator.
Slow Art Day participants were asked to focus on a single work of art for 45 minutes while experiencing an in-gallery music performance. They were then also encouraged to participate in poetry writing workshops and a bookmaking program.
Candy Alexandra Gonzalez, a local poet and visual artist, encouraged participants to create a collaborative book by writing and drawing about things in their lives that they wished moved at a slower pace.
One visitor said:
“This was great for me and my eight year old daughter. It helped us look at the art more closely and talk about it together. Thank you!”
We couldn’t be happier to hear of such a successful multimedia, multi-sensory Slow Art Day, and look forward to what the Philadelphia Art Museum creates for Slow Art Day 2020.
The Australian Centre for Contemporary Art (ACCA) in Melbourne, Australia hosted a successful first Slow Art Day in 2019 with the newly opened solo exhibit Tom Nicholson: Public Meeting. Shannon Lyons, Educator and Program Coordinator, and Eliza Devlin, Education’s Manager, guided participants through an hour of slow observation of four specific artworks by the internationally renowned Australian artist. Afterwards, they spent 30 minutes discussing the links they discovered between the artworks, and how the experience of slow-looking brought new aspects to the surface that only emerged over time.
Shannon Lyons, Educator and Program Coordinator, reported:
Everyone felt calm and relaxed afterward. From an educator’s perspective, it was interesting to note the kinds of questions that the Slow Art Day participants had about the artist and about the artworks. Thanks for having ACCA take part in this world wide event!
We thank The Australian Centre for Contemporary Art for their participation this year, and look forward to seeing their Slow Art Day event in 2020!
QUT Art Museum and their sister gallery, William Robinson Gallery, joined Slow Art Day for the first time in 2019, and according to their visitor survey, people left the museum and gallery wanting more.
Two of Queensland, Australia’s premier visual art institutions, QUT Art Museum and William Robinson Gallery asked participants to look slowly at five selected pieces in the exhibition Exchange value, which offered documentary photography by Gavin Watson.
Participants spent at least 10 minutes viewing and discussing each of the artworks with Sarah Barron, Public Programs Officer at QUT Art Museum.
Here’s what some of the participants said:
“Slow Art Day is such a great idea. Wonderful to take time to absorb and chat about the artworks.”
“Wonderful and insightful time. It opens up the art world to spend time with others discussing the works.”
“Loved it. Informative and reflected everyone’s ‘way of seeing’ the photographs.”
“Marvelous! Amazing! Beyond!“
“What a great event – want more!“
We look forward to seeing what more QUT Art Museum has in store for Slow Art Day 2020.
BOZAR Center of Fine Arts in Brussels, Belgium hosted participants ages 10 to 70 in their multi-sensory 4th annual Slow Art Day in 2019.
Attendees focused on the exhibition Bernard van Orley: Brussels and the Renaissance, where they meditated in front of the rich landscapes within Bernard van Orley’s tapestries while listening to polyphonic renaissance music. Visitors also looked at portraits of the powerful but tragic Margaret of Austria while listening to her life story.
Participants reportedly went home with peaceful smiles.
We love to hear of such creative Slow Art Days, and look forward to BOZAR’s participation in 2020.
This year marked the first Slow Art Day at the Kelowna Art Gallery in Kelowna, BC, Canada. Alison Trim, visual artist and graduate student in the MFA program at UBCO in Kelowna, along with the Gallery’s Public Programming Assistant Ryan Trafananko together hosted an afternoon that combined art exploration and information about the Poetics of Space exhibition.
Trim and Trafanako reported that many participants loved learning the art of slowing down and fully experiencing art — especially with this exhibition, which focused on the experience, creation, and dynamics of space.
We were very happy to hear that their first Slow Art Day went well, and are looking forward to Kelowna Art Gallery’s participation in 2020.