“Tell Me Stories”: Slow Art Day at Angel Ambrose Fine Art Studio

This year the city-wide Slow Art Day phenomenon continued in Bloomington, Illinois, with 20(!) participating museums and art galleries. And, for the third year running, Angel Ambrose Fine Art Studio participated.

For their contribution to the citywide Slow Art Day, Angel Ambrose featured “Tell Me Stories”, a painting that had been on long-term loan at Illinois State University’s Alumni Center on Michigan Avenue in Downtown Chicago.

Angel Ambrose, “Tell Me Stories”. Over 3 1/2’ x 4 1/2’.

On Slow Art Day, Angel invited visitors of all ages to the studio gallery to take a slow look and hear about the stories behind the painting between 10 AM – 2 PM.

Angel welcomed all participants and asked them to take 3-5 minutes or more to contemplate “Tell Me Stories” or another artwork using some of the following prompts for slow looking.

She came up with some good prompts, as you see below.

—- Prompts

For your head (objective thought/intellect) you can consider any of the following:

  • What did you see?
  • What decisions did you notice that Angel made in her painting—line, color, texture, form, repetition, contrast, etc?
  • Was there a color scheme/theme apparent?
  • Notice the paint—can you see individual brushstrokes, or a smooth surface, or perhaps another tool was used to apply the paint?
  • How was movement used in the artwork?
  • Was the piece representational, abstracted, or somewhere between? Why do you think Angel chose this format?

For your heart (feelings/emotions), consider the following:

  • How did you feel when you looked at the work?
  • Did the colors evoke any emotions?
  • What did these feelings make you think about?
  • Did your mood change after looking at the artwork?
  • Did you experience any personal significance to the piece?

Artist Angel Ambrose and her “Management of Time” triptych at Angel Ambrose Fine Art Studio.

During the day, visitors could also visit any of the 20 Bloomington Slow Art Day locations free of charge. The day concluded with a closing reception at The Hangar Art Co. from 2 – 4 PM for participants from all venues.

The Eaton Gallery was the first to host a Slow Art Day in Bloomington. In 2020 at the height of the pandemic, they organized a walk up/drive by exhibition. Then in 2022 Eaton and other Bloomington galleries pioneered hosting a city-wide Slow Art Day – and Angel Ambrose was in that original group.

At Slow Art Day HQ we have eagerly followed the growth of Slow Art Day in Bloomington along Route 66. We (unsurprisingly) like to take things slow, but the fast spread of the citywide movement in Bloomington (and now around the world) both calms and excites us.

We can’t wait to see what Angel Ambrose Fine Art Studio comes up with for Bloomington’s citywide Slow Art Day in 2025.

-Johanna, Ashley, Jessica Jane, and Phyl

P.S. Stay up to date with events at Angel Ambrose Fine Art Studio via their Facebook page.

P.P.S. We are hearing rumors that the state of Illinois might host a *statewide* Slow Art Day in 2025. Stay tuned.

Revelatory Slow Art Day at Maryhill Museum of Art

For their fourth Slow Art Day, Maryhill Museum of Art in Goldendale, Washington, invited visitors to join their Curator of Education, Sorcha Meek Paul, in a lively and ‘revelatory’ slow looking session focused on two paintings in the museum’s 2024 exhibition “Wallula to the Sea”, curated by Steve Grafe.

The two paintings were:

  • ‘Journey’ by Chinook artist Greg A. Robinson
  • ‘Wallula to the Sea’, a quadriptych, by Erik Sandgren

Sorcha Meek Paul presenting Erik Sandgren’s artwork ‘Wallula to the Sea’ for Slow Art Day, 2024.

Sorcha Meek Paul with a participant, engaging with Erik Sandgren’s artwork ‘Wallula to the Sea’ for Slow Art Day, 2024.

Slow looking at ‘Wallula to the Sea’ for Slow Art Day, 2024.

Slow looking at Chinook artist Greg A. Robinson’s artwork, titled ‘Journey’, for Slow Art Day, 2024.

Ahead of Slow Art Day, the event was advertised via the museum’s website, Instagram and Facebook accounts. Sorcha also shared a post on her personal Instagram account. On the day itself, visitors responded to the invitation for “lively discussion” and participated in an interactive session with Sorcha (as we can see in the photos).

On the museum’s website, two lines in the description of the event caught our attention whilst writing this report – they point to the ‘revelatory’ nature of their Slow Art Day:

Looking creates dialogue which then reveals details, understanding, and life-long skills for looking at and connecting with art and art museums. No experience necessary.

Maryhill Museum of Art website (invitation to the Slow Art Day event)

This sums up the principle of Slow Art Day in a beautiful way. Thank you, Maryhill Museum of Art for these words, and for your great event.

We can’t wait to see what you come up with for Slow Art Day 2025.

-Johanna, Ashley, Jessica Jane, and Phyl

P.S. Stay up to date with all events at the Maryhill Museum of Art via their social media: @maryhillmuseumofart

First Slow Art Day Held in Athens, Greece

This year the B&E Goulandris Foundation in Athens became the first museum in the Greek capital to host a Slow Art Day event.

The Foundation’s Slow Art Day included more than 200 visitors who looked slowly at these four artworks from their permanent collection:

  • “Caparisoned horse”, a funerary figurine from China’s Tang Dynasty (8th century)
  • “The Red Fish” by A.R. Penck on the second floor
  • “Large Study in Cadmium Red” by George Rorris on the third floor
  • “London Cityscape Piccadilly Circus I” by Chryssa on the fourth floor
The Red Fish by A. R. Penck, 1982 – one of four artworks chosen for Slow Art Day.

Visitors were invited to take a leaflet with slow looking prompts for their session, and were encouraged to keep it for their next visit. Facilitators also encouraged all visitors to discuss their Slow Art Day experiences with friends as well as to share on social media, using the hashtag #SlowArtDay.

Separately, The Foundation also co-hosted two mindfulness sessions with art historian, educator and mindfulness instructor Lydia Petropoulou.

Those sessions focused on Friedensreich Hundertwasser’s work “Ninety-nine Heads”, with the first session being for both adults and children aged 7+, while the second one was for adults only.

99 Heads by Friedensreich Hundertwasser, 1952.

The mindfulness sessions, they said, aimed to help participants become active, conscious viewers, encouraging them to draw information from what they see and feel instead of what they already know.

The B&E Goulandris Foundation submitted over 100 photos from their event for this report, which capture the beauty of slow looking at a range of the museum’s collection (we have included a few of those photos below our signature line).

We can’t wait to see what the B&E Goulandris Foundation comes up with for Slow Art Day 2025!

-Johanna, Ashley, Jessica Jane, and Phyl

See a selection of photos below.

Boston Athenaeum Hosts First Slow Art Day

For their first Slow Art Day, Boston Athenaeum in Massachusetts invited participants to join one of four 30-minute slow looking and discussion sessions. (Note: As well as being a museum and cultural center, the Athenaeum is also one of America’s oldest member supported libraries.)

Slow Art Day participants being led in discussion by a docent. Photo by Fritz Holznagel.

The slow looking sessions were led by volunteer docents as well as the children’s librarian. The docents selected the works of art for slow looking, including works by Bradley Phillips, Allan Rohan Crite, and Polly (Ethel) Thayer.

The Empire City, 1987. Bradley Phillips (American, 1929–1991).

Marble Players, 1938. Allan Rohan Crite (American, 1910–2007).

Self Portrait, 1943. Polly (Ethel) Thayer (1904–2006).
Donald Starr, 1935. Polly (Ethel) Thayer (1904–2006).

Visitors to the Athenaeum who didn’t participate in the scheduled slow looking sessions were offered a slow looking hand-out (attached below), and were invited to select a piece of art for their own slow looking. They also received a blank piece of paper, clipboard and pencil to help them sketch and/or list what they were noticing.

We are so glad to welcome the Boston Athenaeum to the global slow looking movement and are eager to see what design they come up with for Slow Art Day 2025.

– Johanna, Ashley, Jessica Jane, and Phyl.

PS. You can find details of other events at the Boston Athenaeum via their Instagram or Facebook page.

Slow Puzzles at the Eskenazi Museum of Art 

For their second Slow Art Day, the Eskenazi Museum of Art in Bloomington, Indiana, offered visitors a wide range of activities, including in-gallery sketching, snacks, self guided tours, discussion, and an art-based puzzle contest. Note that the museum is part of the growing Bloomington city-wide Slow Art Day event – which this year included more than 20 museums and galleries across the city (remarkable!).

For the slow looking activity, three artworks were highlighted by Eskenazi, though guests were encouraged to pick any piece in the collection:

Swing Landscape” by Stuart Davis

“Matter” video by Adam Magyar
Below is a still image from the video.

“Flight of a Thousand Birds” by Anila Agha

To facilitate individual slow looking and discussions, the museum re-used their slow looking hand-out from last year (with a few tweaks). We invite all museum curators and Slow Art Day hosts to view the particularly well-designed hand-out below.

Keaton Clulow, Public Experiences Manager, shared that the puzzle contest was particularly popular. For that, guests were asked to spend at least ten minutes with “Swing Landscape” by Stuart Davis before attempting to put together a giant 3D puzzle of the piece from memory. 

Visitor viewing “Swing Landscape” by Stuart Davis.

The museum was also successful at involving all generations, including young people (see below).

Slow looking participant viewing an artwork in the museum. Photo by Shanti Knight.

At Slow Art Day HQ we love the creativity the Eskenazi brings to designing its Slow Art Day activities. We know we would enjoy working on the “slow-puzzle.”

We can’t wait to see what the Eskenazi Museum of Art comes up with for next year’s Blooming citywide event (which may turn into a statewide event – stay tuned).

-Johanna, Ashley, Jessica Jane, and Phyl

P.S. You can follow @eskenazimuseum on Facebook and Instagram.

P.P.S. The museum asked us to include this statement: The museum wishes to acknowledge and honor the myaamiaki, Lënape, Bodwéwadmik, and saawanwa people, whose ancestral homelands and resources Indiana University Bloomington occupies.

Slow Art Day in Köping, Sweden

For their second Slow Art Day, Köpings Museum in Sweden organized both an in-person as well as an online slow-looking event. Additionally, this year the local library in Köping participated in Slow Art Day by borrowing a painting from the museum to use for slow looking.

Visitors to Köpings Museum were invited to join a slow-looking guided tour in the exhibit “A picture – a story” (“En bild – en historia”) by Ulf Rehnholm and Inger Holmberg.

Exhibition poster for the exhibition “A Picture – A History”

Visitors were also offered the below slow-looking instructions (in Swedish) for a self-guided option, as well as paper binoculars to help focus on details in the art.

The museum also offered an online slow-looking alternative through their Facebook page, where they shared instructions and the below photo of “Solar Altar” by Lars Lindeberg from the museum’s collection.

“Solar Altar” by Lars Lindeberg (1925-2011). Color lithograph, 1999. The artwork belongs to Köping municipality’s art collection. The image was used for Köpings Museum’s digital Slow Art Day event.

At Slow Art Day HQ, we love seeing the library and museum work together – this is a great partnership that should inspire other museums around the world to work with their local libraries. Perhaps next year we will see more such partnerships develop.

In the meantime, we look forward to what Köpings Museum and the Köping Library come up with for 2025.

-Johanna, Ashley, Jessica Jane, and Phyl

P.S. Stay up to date with future events at Köpings museum via their Facebook page

P.P.S. There is no possessive apostrophe in Swedish – so Köpings Museum is written without that apostrophe (in English it would be Köping’s Museum).

Slow Art Day Across Generations at MART, Italy

For their fourth Slow Art Day, the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art of Trento and Rovereto (MART) in Italy, hosted a slow looking event aimed at creating a multi-generational experience.

Denise Bernabè, the Membership Coordinator at MART, selected five pieces from the Galleria Civica di Trento, the museum’s venue for temporary exhibitions and a hub for local Trentino artists. These works are part of the exhibit titled “Allegoria della Felicità Pubblica” (“Allegory of Public Happiness”), featuring pieces by Maurizio Nannucci, Diango Hernandez and Nan Goldin. The selected artworks were sent to participants via email a few days ahead of Slow Art Day, so that they could take their time and contemplate them slowly on their own in advance.

Participants engaging with Maurizio Nannucci’s “Moving Between Different Opportunities and Open Singularities,” 2017-2018
Participants engaging with Anna Esposito’s “Prima e dopo il concerto,” 1982
Participants engaging with “Tired Stop” by Diango Hernàndez, 2008

On Slow Art Day, participants were divided into two groups, each guided by a coordinator who engaged them in conversation about the artworks. They re-titled the works based on what each group felt they should be named and assigned scores from 0 to 5 based on the level of emotion evoked and aesthetic pleasure. They also discussed if they would put the artwork in their own home.

Further to make the inter-generational conversation work, an old “Amico del Museo” (literally ‘friend of the museum’), who is a professor at the University of Enology in San Michele all’Adige, brought a group of students to join Slow Art Day. These students were then invited them to engage with their “Amici del Museo” (lit. ‘friends of the museum’), mainly made up of older participants.

Discussions between and across generations were inspiring, and many said that they enjoyed the experience.

“Slow Art allows me to truly see the artworks, to see them through my own eyes. I visit so
many museums that I often walk through the galleries without really looking. But Slow Art
reminded me that artworks have meanings, even if there are multiple interpretations. It’s
my task as an art advocate to capture at least a couple of those meanings.”

MARIAGRAZIA, Slow Art Day participant

“What I appreciate about Slow Art is the opportunity it gives me to listen to different
opinions, often enriching my own understanding of the artwork. It sparks discussions and
inspires me. I’ve also noticed that I’m now influenced by slow looking even when I visit
other museums on my own.”

GIUSEPPE, Slow Art Day participant

Slow Art has become a well-established practice at the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art of Rovereto and Trento (MART). Every month since 2020, a selection of artworks is presented to the Friends of the Museum (“Amici del Museo”), MART’s Members. They view the artworks together and share their perspectives both online and in person.

At Slow Art Day HQ we are always excited to hear about events at MART and how they continue to engage the wider community of museum members, including across generations, in slow looking activities throughout the year as well as for Slow Art Day itself.

We can’t wait to see what they come up with for Slow Art Day 2025.

– Johanna, Ashley, Jessica Jane, and Phyl

First Official Slow Art Day in Bordeaux

On April 13th, Simone Raskin, art consultant and trainer at the Gallery L’Art de Regarder, organized the first official Slow Art Day in Bordeaux, sponsored by the Mairie de Bordeaux (the Bordeaux Town Hall) and hosted at the Espace Saint Rémi.

The Espace Saint Rémi was a church before the French Revolution and has over the centuries transformed into what is now a cultural center for exhibitions. Since 1991, the space has hosted a yearly photography exhibition titled Itinéraires des Photographes Voyageurs, which was created and organized by Nathalie Lamire-Fabre and Vincent Bengold as part of the first Mois de la Photo de Bordeaux (month of photography in Bordeaux).

The slow looking focused on the following 6 works from the photography exhibition:

  • Patrick Cockpit, “Pasaran, une dystopie franquiste” 
  • Lise Dua, “Les loyautés & Une vie”
  • Charlotte Auricombe, “Cau Del Llop” 
  • Benoît Capponi, “Toutes les heures blessent”
  • Sladjana Stankovic, “La Douce
  • Thierry Girard, “The Tenjin Omuta Line” 
Photo credit: Simone Raskin

The Slow Art Day event was not promoted separately, so Simone greeted the 250+ visitors with an explanation of slow looking, and invited participants to sit in chairs that were arranged in front of the works. She provided them with the following prompts to guide their experience:

  • What’s going on in this picture?
  • What is it that attracts you in this particular photography?
  • What is the mood of the photo?
  • What are the colors? What do they evoke to you?
  • What is the composition of this photo?
  • If you were to say one word about this photo, what would it be?
  • Does it remind you of a painting, a souvenir, a memory, a personal experience?

Below are some of the works in the event:

“Pasaran, une dystopie franquiste” by Patrick Cockpit

Les loyautés & Une vie” by Lise Dua

Cau Del Llop” by Charlotte Auricombe

La Douce“by Sladjana Stankovic

“The Tenjin Omuta Line” by Thierry Girard

Simone reported that many of the participants thanked her for the event, and they were quite appreciative for the prompts that she provided. Several mentioned that they would try slow looking at future museum visits.

At Slow Art Day HQ we are so glad to hear that the event was so well-received and look forward to whatever Simone Raskin, Mairie de Bordeaux, or Espace Saint Rémi plan for Slow Art Day 2025!

– Jessica Jane, Johanna, Ashley, and Phyl

Slow Art Day 2024 is Today!


Slow Art Day is *today* around the world – Silicon Valley, Berlin, New York, Cleveland, Boston, London, Singapore, Philadelphia, Australia, Washington D.C., Miami, South Africa, Rome, Paris, Brazil, Mexico, Los Angeles, Canada, Sweden, Denmark, Belgium…Bloomington, Indiana (where 20 galleries and museums are participating) to name just a few of the hundreds of museums, galleries, sculpture parks, universities hosting Slow Art Day today.

Small galleries (like the 20 in Bloomington, Indiana), small museums (like the Foster in Palo Alto), and big museums (like the Met in New York, The AGO in Toronto, or The Altes Museum in Berlin) are all hosting.

We started this movement 15 years ago with a simple aim: help more people learn how to look at and love art (and to support the educators and curators who share the same passion).

We are proud of how this movement has grown and created cultural space in the art world for the simple act of slowing down and looking.

So – happy Slow Art Day to all of you at all the museums, galleries, sculpture parks, universities, street art organizations who make Slow Art Day happen around the world. You are the heroes of the art world doing the important work of helping everyone slow down with art.

We look forward to getting your reports – photos, descriptions, etc – so we can continue to help you learn from and inspire each other.


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

P.S. If you have not yet registered your Slow Art Day 2024 with us, then go to this page.

P.P.S. Our 2023 Annual Report is out. Read it and get inspired!

Euro Slow Art Day 2024

Slow Art Day 2024 is tomorrow, Saturday, April 13 and yet again there are an amazing variety of museums, galleries, churches, cities, sculpture parks joining us from around the world (see the full list) – including across Europe.

To name just a few across that continent…

There are three cities hosting citywide Slow Art Days – Antwerp, Belgium (*8* locations), Reims, France (*4* locations), Rome, Italy (*3* museums).

Some countries are hosting multiple sites including Belgium (*11* locations including Antwerp), Sweden (*8* locations), Italy (*7* locations including Rome), England (*6* locations), Germany (*5* locations including 2 in Berlin), Spain (*4* locations), Ireland (*3* locations), Denmark (*2* locations).

Then Ukraine, Slovenia and several other countries have single sites for Slow Art Day 2024.

Here’s details on just two of these locations:

Altes Museum – Berlin

The Altes Museum (English: Old Museum) is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and was originally built between 1825 and 1830. It’s in the heart of Berlin on the museum island. For their Slow Art Day they are running a workshop in the Greek and Roman galleries.

And I love this – the “prerequisite” for participation in this workshop is “curiosity and goodwill towards yourself.” Lovely. Led by the art therapists Naira Bloss and Ulla Utasch, the workshop includes a short guided relaxation exercise, slow looking at selected ancient art, then followed by an in-depth discussion.

Sweden Nationalmuseum

The Swedish Nationalmuseum is hosting another art chill in their beautiful Sculpture Courtyard. They are providing yoga mats and an optional soundtrack.

These are just a few of the hundreds of places hosting events around the world this year.

And, of course, you can run your own personal Slow Art Day anywhere anytime. 

We hope you have a wonderful Slow Art Day 2024.

– Phyl 

P.S. If you have not yet registered your Slow Art Day with us, then go to this page.

P.P.S. Our 2023 Annual Report is out. Read it and get inspired!