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