Host to Host: Rachel Matthews

[Hosts around the world are introducing themselves to each other in advance of Slow Art Day. Today we’re featuring some words from Rachel Matthews, the volunteer host at the Getty Center in West Los Angeles]

Hello fellow Slow Art hosts,

My name is Rachel Mathews and I will be hosting this year’s Slow Art Day at the Getty Center in West Los Angeles. This is my first year as a host, 4th year as a participant; I’m looking forward to being a part of Slow Art Day once again! While I’m not an art scholar, I do love viewing art and Slow Art Day is a great way to expand my art horizons. The Getty Center is a wonderful museum that has a wide variety of art, which makes it difficult to pick just 5 pieces; fortunately, I was able to get a friend to make the choices (we were originally supposed to co-host, but sadly, she’ll be out of town on Saturday).

I had an incredible experience the first year I attended Slow Art Day, at the Norton Simon Museum in Pasadena, that’s kept me coming back. A friend/co-worker was hosting and, in the viewing guide, there was a piece that I felt I was not going to enjoy. After I paid for my museum admission, I decided to head to the end of the furthest gallery and work my way back. As I walked, I spotted some of the other pieces in the viewing guide and made note where they were; suddenly, I saw a piece in the distance and was drawn to it – it was the piece I thought I wouldn’t like. But it was much larger than it looked in the guide (it ended up having an entire room to itself; I could see it about a gallery and a half away due to its size), which changed the experience completely. As I spent more and more time with this huge painting, I kept noticing more and more details about it and in it, which was intriguing. After spending 15 minutes with the piece, I absolutely loved it! After seeing all of the other pieces in the viewing guide, I decided that the first piece was my favorite. The following year, I went back to the same museum and made sure to spend time with it again.

One of my other friends wasn’t able to make the first 3 Slow Art Days, so I organized an interim Slow Art experience at the Getty last Fall for that friend and the friend who has hosted the previous Slow Art Days I attended. Since I don’t live near the Getty, I chose all of the artwork off of their website and wasn’t sure what my own reactions to the pieces I had selected would be, much less the impressions my 2 companions that day would have. I made sure to choose a couple of pieces that I wouldn’t normally be attracted to, hoping to re-enact that first year Slow Art attitude shift. Although we had to spend some time searching for the various pieces (which was part of the adventure), we all had a great time and, afterwards, had a very robust discussion about how the pieces impacted us.

I’m really looking forward to next Saturday. I wish everyone great success with their Slow Art Day events around the world!

Rachel Mathews

[Make sure to check out (and register for!) Rachel’s Slow Art Day event at the Getty Centre in West Los Angeles]

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