For their first official Slow Art Day, Grounds For Sculpture (GFS) in Hamilton, New Jersey, hosted nearly 1,000 partipants and provided them with meditative prompts to use while slow-viewing the sculptures.
On April 10, all visitors were encouraged to do a slow looking activity using the following instructions created by Libby Vieira da Cunha, Manager of Group Visit and School Programs at Grounds For Sculpture:
1) Pick any sculpture on the grounds that interests you
2) Challenge yourself to look at the sculpture for 5 minutes – set a timer and allow yourself to slow down
3) While taking a slow look, ask yourself the following questions:
- Take a deep breath. Walk around the sculpture and let your eyes move slowly around the artwork – from where it touches the ground all the way up to the sky.
- What do you notice? Make three observations based on what you noticed.
- Think of a story or experience this sculpture reminds you of – anything that comes to mind.
- Think of a friend that you want to share this sculpture with, why does this person come to mind?
- What do you notice about the sculpture now that you did not see at first glance? How does this change your impression of the sculpture?
- If you’re with others share your responses with each other. Did they have similar or different thoughts on the sculpture?
- If you’re up for the Slow Art Day challenge, then repeat this exercise with two other sculptures
- What new question might you pose for slow looking? Add it to your next slow look.
Throughout the day, facilitators also walked between different groups, inviting them to discuss the artwork ‘Dorian’ by artist Bruce Beasley (pictured below).
Ahead of the event, it was advertised on Facebook and Instagram, receiving more than 600 likes from the public. The in-person activity was very well received, and experienced by a total of 952 visitors from across the country – from Arizona, California, Minnesota, and many states along the east coast.
Participants shared that they found the experience fun, stimulating, reflective, special, interesting, insightful, and meditative:
“The fact that you can see it (the artwork) from so many different perspectives makes it more beautiful.”Slow Art Day Participant
“I felt a closer bond to my friend doing it as we expressed our experiences”Slow Art Day Participant’s quote
“Allows for seeing hidden beauty”Participant’s quote
“I was able to reflect and learn something new”Slow Art Day Participant’s quote
At Slow Art Day HQ, we were excited to see Grounds for Sculpture bring out nearly 1,000 people for their first annual event. We also appreciated GFS’ enthusiasm, creativity and attention to detail. And their poster (pictured above) is terrific.
We can’t wait to see what they come up with for their second Slow Art Day in 2022.
Johanna, Jessica, and Ashley