Slow Art Day – A Valentine for Art

Slow Art Day officially takes place this year on April 28th. But perhaps it should be held on Valentine’s Day each year, because Slow Art is really about loving art in a way we often share with loved ones.

Spending slow time gazing into a loved one’s face,  seeing all the detail and finding surprises and insights is how we get to know another person.  It is the same with art. Spending time and slowly looking gives us insight, surprise, joy, wonder, understanding, perhaps bewilderment, and most important our own experience that effects mind, body and something deeper.

Slow Art Day is a worldwide shared experience where on the same day every year small groups of  people gather to visit an art museum or gallery in their city or town. Instead of the usual few seconds of looking at a piece of art, Slow Art Day participants spend 10 to 15 minutes or longer viewing each piece of five or more art works that were chosen by volunteer hosts.  The participants simply view art on their own, without a docent or art historian to fill them in, thereby experiencing their own thoughts, feelings and insights.  Participants can look at the art, sketch, journal, meditate, or what ever works for them (as allowed) to get to know the art.  Then after viewing everyone gathers for an informal lunch and discusses their experiences of slow art.

Right now there are  47 sites around the world that will have a Slow Art Day experience in 2012. More cities will join before April 28th.  Slow Art Day started in 2009 with four people  at the Museum of Modern Art in NYC.  Last year hundreds took part at 90 locations, on all continents, even Antartica. All the hosts are volunteers, there is no cost beyond admission and lunch. Go to the Slow Art Day website, look for your city and sign up.  If there is no Slow Art Day listed where you are, volunteer to be a host.  I have been a host, along with my friend Kelly Larson, for the last two years.  We again will host the 2012 Slow Art Day in St. Louis at the Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts.  Hosting is very little work, and lots of fun.

Here are some photos from previous Slow Art Day events, from around the world.

And perhaps the best for last is the three year old painting.  Here’s what was said by the Slow Art Day host: “Best Slow Art Day picture EVER. One of the participants of Slow Art Day sent me this picture of his 3 year old daughter after they both attended yesterday. She had never painted before, but immediately after they left she wanted to paint so he bought her paints, a canvas and an easel. Slow Art Day just inspired someone to start painting at 3 years old. It doesn’t get any cooler than that.”


This blog post was published originally on Valentine’s Day 2012 at Creativity For The Soul blog, by Linda Wiggen Kraft



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