Slow Down, Live Long, and Live Well at the Sociedade Das Artes in Serra Negra, Brazil

For their third year, the Sociedade Das Artes in Serra Negra, Brazil held a hybrid Slow Art Week, hosted by artist Henrique Vieira Filho. The Sociedade Das Artes features works by contemporary artists, along with artistic services and products.

Exploring the theme of “Slow Down, Live Long, and Live Well,” the gallery allowed for four visitors at a time and each visitor chose which works of art they wanted to appreciate slowly (note: the gallery asked that visitors RSVP ahead of their visit to secure a time to attend).

Visitors in the gallery space.

Henrique Vieira Filho wrote, as part of the day, “Living at a fast pace certainly has a certain charm (“live fast, die young”), however, I think the alternative is much more interesting: slow down, live a lot, and live well! The Slow Art Movement advocates the experience of time with greater QUALITY for everything and everyone.”

We couldn’t agree more.

Online advertisement
Henrique Vieira Filho holding a copy of O Serrano with an article about Slow Art.

The event was advertised online (see above) and there was also an article written in the local press (also see above).

Visit Google Drive or Facebook to view a video that was created to allow people to explore the exhibit virtually.

We love their focus for 2022 and look forward to seeing what they come up with for next year.

Best,

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

P.S. The Sociedade Das Artes can be found on Instagram and Facebook.

Slow Art Day at the Museum of Gloucester

For their first Slow Art Day, the Museum of Gloucester, UK, organized an in-person event where participants were invited to explore paintings from their exhibition “Two Millennia of Changing Faces: Gloucester’s Architecture. Fifth century to twentieth century“: a collection that encapsulates the architecture and built heritage of the city of Gloucester.

Flyer of the exhibition “Two Millenia of Changing Faces: Gloucester’s Architecture.”

For the event, visitors were encouraged to slow down and look closely at each piece for 5-10 minutes so that they could ponder how architecture has inspired and shaped stories of Gloucester’s people, culture and industry.

At Slow Art Day HQ we look forward to their next year’s event!

P.S. You can follow them on their Facebook and Instagram accounts.

JJ, Ashley, Johanna, Robin, and Phyl

Gothenburg Museum of Art hosts Slow Art Day Meditation

For their third Slow Art Day, Sweden’s Gothenburg Museum of Art hosted a meditation session in their exhibition Barbro Östlihn. New York Imprint, featuring renowned post-war Swedish artist, Barbro Östlihn, who was friends with several US-based artists such as Robert Rauschenberg, Frank Stella, Claes Oldenburg, and Roy Lichtenstein.

Linda Noreen, program coordinator, organized the event, while the meditation was lead by Lars Hain, who has 25 years of leading meditation workshops.

IMG_1444: Barbro Östlihn (1930-1995) Suffolk Street Wall, 1972 Oil on canvas Moderna Museet, Stockholm. Donation 1994 from Anders Lönnqvist, Stockholm.

Once they arrived at the museum, participants were taken to the Barbro Östlihn exhibit, invited to sit down on chairs and cushions, and then led through a meditative slow looking experience.

We’ll note that mixing meditation and slow looking is not new to Gothenburg Museum of Art.

In fact, as part of Slow Art Day 2021, they created a meditative video guide on how to slow down with art (in Swedish), while the museum was forced to close due to the pandemic. If you are a speaker of a Scandinavian language, we recommend viewing the video below for inspiration.

We at Slow Art Day HQ love the mixing of meditation and slow looking and especially appreciate that Gothenburg Museum of Art provided soft chairs and cushions (sounds really comfortable – every museum needs to do this!).

We look forward to seeing what Gothenburg Museum of Art comes up with for their 4th Slow Art Day in 2023.

– Johanna, Ashley, Jessica, Phyl and Robin

P.S. You can find the Gothenburg Museum of Art on Facebook and Instagram.

Drawing and Coloring at MAM in Montana

For their third Slow Art Day, the Missoula Art Museum (MAM) in Montana organized an in-person event encouraging participants to focus on Nancy Erickson’s (1935-2022) Hall of Memory #10: Guard Bear.

Nancy Erickson. 1999. Hall of Memory #10: Guard Bear.

Interestingly, to help guests slowly engage with this one work of art, they set up a small “maker station” in the gallery space with a 5-minute timer, worksheet, prompts, and materials for guests to create their own artworks.

Below is an explanatory video they put together for guests.

We recommend that educators and curators throughout the slow looking movement take a look at this video and think about how to integrate art making into their 2023 Slow Art Day.

MAM Slow Art Day 2022 explanatory video

We at Slow Art Day HQ, are excited to see art making brought into slow looking and would like to thank Educator & Outreach Specialist Cameron Decker and his team for organizing this event.

We look forward to what they come up with for Slow Art Day 2023.

Jessica Jane, Ashley, Johanna, Robin, and Phyl

P.S. MAM can be found on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube

Slow Looking with Tea and Cookies at Sweden’s Galleri Pictor

For their first Slow Art Day, Galleri Pictor in Munka-Ljungby, Sweden, hosted an in-person slow looking event with visiting art students from Munka folkhögskola.

André Bongibolt, Les 1000 soleils entrevus (64 x 83 cm), mezzotint on paper. Read more.
Participants looking at the artwork by André Bongibolt. Photo courtsey of Galleri Pictor.

On Slow Art Day, the group gathered in a gallery and sat in a half circle in front of a picture by André Bongibolt. They started with relaxing their bodies and minds for a moment before looking slowly at the artwork. Participants were also given a document with slow looking instructions in Swedish, viewable below.

Following this, all participants wrote their thoughts and observations and shared them back with the group. To round off the event, participants reflected on their slow looking experience over a cup of tea and cookies (or ‘biscuits’ as they sometimes say in Europe).

Reflecting on the event, Charlotte Fällman Gleissner shared the following with us:

Even as a gallerist, I seldom give myself time to really see the artwork in a deeper sense – therefore this was a new experience for me too. Further, I now understand how flexible slow-looking is and how it can be used with different kinds of groups in a range of settings. This is wonderful. Thank You!

Charlotte Fällman Gleissner

We at Slow Art Day HQ are excited that Galleri Pictor has joined the slow art movement – and, in fact, we now believe that all slow looking events should end with tea and cookies. That is certainly a best practice!

– Johanna, Phyl, Ashley, Jessica and Robin

PS: Stay in touch with other events at Galleri Pictor via their Instagram

Connect and Create with Slow Art at Lehigh University Art Galleries

For their third Slow Art Day, the Lehigh University Art Galleries (LUAG) in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, organized a variety of interesting, student-led slow looking activities.

Sam Ginn and Cassidy Rubio guiding visitors on the Slow Art Day tour, 2022

On April 2nd, visitors to the galleries were invited on a Slow Art Day Tour between 1-2PM to look at and discuss some visiting artworks from the exhibition Young, Gifted and Black together with Sam Ginn and Cassidy Rubio, both museum educators and students at Lehigh University.

Visitors were also separately given the change to join a Connect & Create Workshop with Lehigh student Afiwa Afandalo and the group Artists for Change.

For that workshop, participants read a short written piece connected to the theme, then discussed how a selection of artists engage with ideas of community in their work. In the final part of the session, they created an art piece (written or visual) that represented the influence of community on identity or vice versa. Participants considered their roles as community members, and reflected together on how “the collective and the self are equally important.”

In a LUAG student spotlight post, Afiwa Afandalo, the student and artist, reflected on how she created the workshop, which was inspired by sketching and contemplating one of the art works in the exhibit Young, Gifted, and Black.

We recommend you read her revelatory quote below –

The idea of having a workshop on the theme of identity and community came to me while viewing Blue Dancer by Tunji Adeniyi Jones. Every time I go to the gallery, I stop by that piece, the colors, the shape of the figure, the movement, they all feel so organic to me! I was so in love with that piece (I still am), I did a sketch of it in my sketchbook and used it as my artist study for my self-portrait painting. Sketching this piece allowed me to engage and decipher it; it felt like a puzzle—I love puzzles and I think it makes sense that I saw it as that: a puzzle—every piece carefully and intentionally crafted to create this beautiful piece. Something that stood out to me in this process was how the movements within the figure and outside of it are in sync with the form of the figure. I was trying to figure out which of the motion was impacting the other and couldn’t quite put my finger on it. When I finished the figure and was working on the surroundings, that’s when I had my “lightbulb moment”; it is not one or the other, it is both together, working at the same time, and having an impact on each other. That made me think of myself and my environment, how both work together and are equally important to the person I am and becoming. That’s when I knew what the workshop should be about.

Afiwa Afandalo. Lehigh University Art Galleries spotlight. May 26, 2022.

LUAG is an example of a university art museum that has incorporated slow looking and non-judgmental looking practices deeply into their tours, programs, and student engagement.

Seeing this brings us real joy and makes us look forward to seeing what LUAG comes up with for their 2023 Slow Art Day program.

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

Mindful Art at Musée des Beaux Arts d’Orléans in Orléans, France

For their first Slow Art Day, Mindful Art hosted two days of mindfulness and slow looking at the Musée des Beaux Arts d’Orléans in Orléans, France. Organizer Marjan Abadie led the hybrid in-person and online event, which had 129 participants in total.

The Mindful Art Experience is an initiative by the Mindfulness Institute in Brussels, Belgium. Below is a website banner they used to promote the event.

Marjan Abadie leading participants through slow looking. CREDIT: Marjan Abadie
Slow Art Day participants. CREDIT: Marjan Abadie

We look forward to what Marjan Abadie comes up with for Slow Art Day 2023.

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

McMaster Museum of Art Produces Their 9th(!) Slow Art Day

For their 9th(!) Slow Art Day, the McMaster Museum of Art in Hamilton, Canada, hosted a virtual slow looking session organized by Information Officer Olga Kolotylo together with Education Officer Teresa Gregorio.

On April 2, participants looked slowly at artworks by Denyse Thomasos (1964-2012), Alexandra Luke, the Painters Eleven, and others.

At the start of the session, participants were first given context about the land which the McMaster is located on, which traditionally belongs to the Hadenosaunee and Anishinaabe nations. Slow Art Day was then introduced, and The McMaster presented the following advice for slow looking:

  • Get comfortable
  • Pay attention to your senses
  • Open yourself up
  • Allow yourself to enter the artwork
  • Trust your intuition
  • Share your findings
  • Look again

For the remainder of the time, participants were given silence to look slowly followed then by discussion.

The session was recorded and is available to watch below. We encourage art educators to check out the video for inspiration and ideas, including Kolotylo’s moderation and the way she did not reveal the artist or title until the end of each conversation.

Slow Art Day 2022 at the McMaster Museum of Art.

At Slow Art Day HQ, we love the longtime leadership of the McMaster Museum of Art in the slow looking movement and eagerly look forward to what they create in 2023.

We can’t wait to see what the McMaster Museum of Art comes up with for Slow Art Day in 2023.

– Johanna, Jessica Jane, Ashley, Phyl and Robin

P.S. You can stay updated with events at the McMaster Museum of Art via their IG page.

P.P.S. I, Johanna, feel especially nostalgic when I write about the McMaster events, since their event was one of the first reports I put together for Slow Art Day when I joined the team.

Aesthetics and Emotions at MART

For their second Slow Art Day, the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art of Rovereto and Trento (MART), Italy, organized both an online and an in-person event.

For the online session, which took place on April 1, the eight participants received three artworks by email the day before of the event so that they could look slowly on their own and then come and present their thoughts during the session.

For the in-person event, organizers presented the three artworks at the beginning of the session, then they left the 20 participants to look slowly for 45 minutes.

Participants were given some prompts to think about while looking:

  • Which elements strike you the most?
  • Which positive or/and negative emotions do you feel looking at this artwork?
  • Do you like this artwork asethetically?
  • Does it evoke you memories? If so, which ones?

They also asked participants to do the following:

  • Rate their emotional and aesthetic responses with a scale of of 0 to 5 points.
  • Assign a title for each work of art (we recommend other educators consider adding this fun element).
  • Think of a common thread connecting the three artworks.

Once their slow looking was done, the museum then divided the participants into small discussion groups of four people each.

Photos from the in-person session can be viewed below.

Gino Severini, Cannoni in azione, 1915 oil on canvas, 50 x 61,5 cm, Mart, Collezione VAF-Stiftung

Organizers collected the participants feedback and shared with us a few snippets (translated from Italian).

Admiring, observing and talking in a group about the individual and personal sensations that the works made on us was very beautiful, instructive and formative. Feeling how each participant had his own point of view and his impression and how the various impressions intertwined with each other was very welcome and was appreciated by all.

Renzo – Slow Art Day participant

I think we all had a great desire to live this moment, in which physical closeness, looks, voice, were finally used as “normal” means of communication and expression simply belonging to our human race. After these two years of restrictions [for Covid] I think we all felt happy to get to know and re-know each other in a close way and to make a group. Looking together, exchanging opinions and impressions, sharing the different possibilities of reading and interpreting the works was an enriching experience and, let me say, at least for me, even moving.”

Maddalena – Slow Art Day participant

We’d like to add that Denise Bernabè, Membership Coordinator at MART, and Piero Consolati, MART member for several years, have been organizing Slow Art monthly meetings in addition to the annual events. And, due to the pandemic, April 2 was the first time they ran an in-person slow looking session – and they did great!

We very much look forward to what they come up with for 2023.

– Jessica Jane, Phyl, Johanna, and Ashley

Delving into the Down North Exhibition at Portland Museum of Art

For its fifth Slow Art Day, Portland Museum of Art delved into three works from Down North: The North Atlantic Triennial. This exhibition was co-organized by the Portland Museum of Art, the Reykjavík Art Museum, Iceland, and the Bildmuseet, Sweden; it is the first exhibition devoted entirely to contemporary art of the North Atlantic region.

Participants joined Christian Adame, Peggy L. Osher Director of Learning and Community Collaboration, to look in-person with intention and attention at three works of art (pictured below) for a total of 90 minutes.

Lauren Fensterstock (United States, born 1975), The Order of Things, 2016, mixed media with shells, overall: 78 x 240 x 26 inches. Courtesy of the artist and Claire Oliver Gallery, NY. © Lauren Fensterstock

Bita Razavi (Finland/Estonia, born 1983), Gameplay video filmed in The Hunter: Call of the Wild from the series The Dog Days Will Soon Be Over, 2019, sound; HD video, 16:9, 5 minutes 39 seconds (loop), musical score by Svetlana Maraš. Courtesy of the artist. © Bita Razavi

Anders Sunna (Sápmi, born 1985) Torne STYX, 2021, paint and collage on wood, 48 x 88 13/64 x 5/32 inches. Courtesy of the artist. © Anders Sunna. Photographs by Piera Niilá Stålka

More information, including a video of the exhibition, can be found here. Be sure to explore the entire page as the selected works featured online are striking and evocative. Portland Art Museum also holds slow looking events throughout the year on an intermittent basis. Information on those events, and when they will be held, can be found on their calendar.

Portland Museum of Art can be found on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Vimeo, and Soundcloud.

We can’t wait to see what PMA does for 2023!

-Robin, Ashley, Phyl, Johanna, and Jessica Jane.

P.S. We want to recognize the long-time leadership of Christian Adame who first hosted Slow Art Day at the Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento in 2013. When he later moved to the Phoenix Art Museum he brought it there, and then, more recently, when he was hired by the Portland Museum of Art he again brought Slow Art Day with him. Christian is the pied-piper of our movement.