Toronto’s Gardiner Museum Explores Social, Political, & Environmental Themes

Earlier this year, the Gardiner Museum, Canada’s ceramics museum, hosted a Slow Art Day event focusing on the social, political, and environmental themes explored in the exhibition Shary Boyle: Outside the Palace of Me. Education Manager, Farrukh Rafiq, guided attendees in slow looking activities and engaged them in a discussion about the works on display.

Shary Boyle: Outside the Palace of Me

As a multi-sensory installation, Shary Boyle: Outside the Palace of Me explores how we see ourselves and each other through drawings, ceramic sculpture, life-sized automatons, two-way mirrors, coin-operated sculpture, and an interactive score.

More information about the exhibit and the Gardiner Museum can be found on the links above and via their social media pages: Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

This is the third year that Toronto’s Gardiner Museum has held a slow art event and we can’t wait to see what they come up with next year.

– Robin, Ashley, Phyl, Jessica Jane, and Johanna

Sharon Norwood Slowly at Washington & Lee University

The Museums at Washington & Lee University in Lexington, VA held their first Slow Art Day this year, led by Director of Museums Isra El-beshir and student curator Posi Oluwakuyide, and focused on “The Root of the Matter,” an exhibit featuring the contemporary art of Sharon Norwood.

A conceptual artist of Caribbean descent, Norwood aims to provoke an honest conversation about race, beauty, and differences.

The Root of the Matter V, 2016 Digital Collage by Sharon Norwood. Courtesy of the Museums at Washington and Lee website.

Slow looking participant. Courtesy of the Museums at Washington & Lee University Instagram.

As you can see, she uses the curly line to express identity and cultural relationships through various art forms, including ceramics, drawings, paintings, installations, and videos.

Her work is stunning and we recommend you check out their Instagram and visit their website to read more about Sharon Norwood.

We are happy to welcome The Museums at W&L to our movement, and very much look forward to seeing the art they focus on for their second Slow Art Day in 2023.

– Ashley, Johanna, Jessica Jane, Robin, and Phyl

P.S. Below is the digital flyer used to promote the event (note their use of tinycc in their print marketing, which makes it easier for readers to type in long urls – something we recommend other educators consider copying for their print materials).

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Philadelphia Slows Down to Reveal the Magic of Mosaic

For Slow Art Day 2019 Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens’ Garden Guide Rob led a group of 15 people in a slow-looking activity focusing on a portion of the beautiful mosaic that encompasses the entire folk art environment and gallery space on South Street in Philadelphia.

Portion of mosaic wall by Isaiah Zagar, Philadelphia Magic Gardens

After slowly taking in all the details of the portion Rob had chosen, the guests then shared what they saw including certain tiles and shapes that are typically overlooked. That was their first discovery of the day: slow looking can make the invisible visible (and cause participants to wonder at how much we humans do not see unless we slow down). Rob also pointed out and gave background on additional often-unseen elements.

Their second and, perhaps, biggest discovery of the day – the “aha” moment – came when the participants realized that through their slow looking in the mirror pieces they themselves had become part of the mosaic. 

We look forward to the Philadelphia Magic Gardens Slow Art Day 2020.

– Ashley

Yoga and Ceramics at B-galleria in Turku, Finland

For their third Slow Art Day, B-galleria in Turku, the former capital city of Finland, held a yoga workshop where participants could take a deep breath, stretch their bodies, and look slowly at surrounding works of art.

After the yoga workshop, participants slowly observed B-galleria’s scholarship holder Aino Ojala’s exhibition Seassa / Among, which consisted of ceramic replicas of parts of the skin of the artist and her friends. Studying this work closely obviously made for a unique slow viewing experience.

We look forward to what B-galleria chooses for its art and slow looking design for 2020.

– Ashley

Slow Art Day with Ceramics, Glass, and Mixed Media

The Canadian Clay & Glass Gallery in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada participated in their first Slow Art Day in 2019 by inviting visitors to slow down with ceramics, glass and mixed media from Canadian artists. 

After one hour of slow looking, visitors gathered for 30 minutes to discuss their observations about the material and meaning of the works, including the hidden qualities and stories they discovered.

According to The Canadian Clay & Glass Gallery, one participant said it was “exhilarating to meet new people and share so many diverse perspectives about the artwork.”

Photo Credit: Eleanor Zhang. Instagram: @eleanor.jing_zhang

We look forward to the Canadian Clay & Glass Gallery’s participation again in 2020!

– Ashley