Payal Thiffault and Michelle May, founders of Juniper Rag magazine and Slow Art Day pioneers going back to the founding, held their 2023 Slow Art Day at The White Room Gallery in Worcester, MA. They invited both the public and the following New England-based artists whose work was on exhibition at the gallery:
- Curtis Speer, Newport, RI
- Scott Boilard, Worcester, MA
- Howard Johnson, Jr., Worcester, MA
- John Pagano, Paxton, MA
- Sue Swinand, Worcester, MA
- Tara Sellios, Boston, MA
Participants arrived for the event and began slowly looking at the artwork, with questions and discussions organically began as everyone looked at the artwork. Having the artists present created a lot of additional excitement.
Viewing began with a look at Scott Boilard’s surrealist painting, ‘Nightmares of Time’, which incorporates figurative imagery and appears to illustrate tension, passion and an emotional journey that the viewer can piece together in many different ways. Attendees were intrigued by the subject matter, the techniques used and the feeling of motion in the piece. Uniquely, the artist had the opportunity to talk about his concept in painting the work and how it related to self-expression and the feelings that come from societal pressure. Discussing his art so intimately was a great kick-off to the day.
Visitors also viewed work by Howard B. Johnson, Jr. who creates landscapes of symbolic references and double entendres that keep the viewer’s eye moving all over the art. Humor, visual taunts and esoterica left many viewers with endless questions.
They then moved on to fine art photographs by Tara Sellios and Curtis Speer and ended the viewing with paintings by Susan Swinand and John Pagano.
Viewers reported leaving with in-depth insights and reflections on all of the work. The hosts said that they found it rewarding to see the different perspectives, from art educators, conservators, engineers and doctors.
We love the way Michelle May and Payal Thiffault continue to lead the Slow Art Day movement – and continue to keep their own minds open to constant and ongoing learning. We look forward to seeing what they come up with for Slow Art Day 2024!
– Ashley, Johanna, Jessica Jane, and Phyl