According to the visitor experience team at Tate Modern, Slow Art Day 2019 was “fantastic.”
They organized two one-hour slow looking sessions split between two artworks and, then, after the sessions, the team invited the visitors to come together for tea, coffee, biscuits, and a discussion about the whole experience.
Here’s what some of the participants said:
“A really interesting session. I’m more mindful of how to observe art in the future.”
“What a wonderful idea!
“I understand now how you can spend so much time in a gallery looking at art!”
“The combination of looking at art slowly and with other people is a real eye opener.”
“Really like the concept. As someone who can feel a bit intimidated by the art world this felt like a really nice way in and gives me more confidence to engage with art in the future.”
“A brilliant concept, lovely to think that this is going on all around the world.”
“I will definitely bring friends next time. Do it again!”
“I felt like a part of a group/community and was an hour well spent.”
“We can’t wait for next year to do it again,” said Adriana Oliveira, Visitor Experience Manager there at Tate Modern.
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.