For their second Slow Art Day, the member-run non-profit gallery Artspace, in Richmond, Virginia, planned a simple approach for their event: start with a 5-minute meditation, followed by 5-minute slow looking at four chosen works currently hanging in the gallery, and a group discussion afterwards.
The gallery opened at noon, and the hosts provided healthy nibbles, mimosas, and water with cucumber, mint and lemon as they welcomed visitors and explained the history and mission of Slow Art Day. At 2pm, they started to play meditative flute music.
While the organizers had a clear plan for meditation, slow viewing and discussion, the participants decided to make some changes on the fly. For example, the first group of visitors skipped the meditation and jumped right in to looking at a large painting. Next, the participants decided to split up and slow look at one art work that they each chose. This did not quite follow the event plan, the organizers went with the flow of the group, and said it worked out even better than planned. Many Slow Art Day educators and hosts know that sometimes visitors take ideas into their own hands, which after all is the central mission of Slow Art Day.
At the end of the session, participants held a long discussion about their experience: why did they choose the art they chose, what did they see, and thoughts on the design of the exhibit.
At Slow Art Day HQ we are pleased to know that the event worked out well and we look forward to seeing what this Richmond gallery comes up with for Slow Art Day 2024.
– Johanna, Ashley, Jessica Jane, and Phyl
P.P.S. Note to Slow Art Day museums: please provide water with cucumber, mint and lemon to all your guests 😉