Host Reports: Art Gallery of Western Australia in Perth, Australia

[In this series, we will be posting reports from Slow Art Day hosts around the world who held Slow Art Day events on April 27, 2013. This week, we are featuring the Slow Art Day event run by Susan Way, held at the Art Gallery of Western Australia in Perth, Australia]

Hi Everyone,

Slow Art Day was celebrated at the Art Gallery of Western Australia by featuring four photographs from the Picturing New York: Photographs from the Museum of Modern Art exhibition. The day was a great success and started with 15 participants. As our Voluntary Gallery Guide, Alan Ruda, ushered visitors slowly around the exhibition more and more people gathered. By the second set of photographs there were easily 40 people participating. By the end of the tour there were between 60 and 70 people crowded around Michael Wesely’s 7 August 2001-7 June 2004 The Museum of Modern Art, New York and Henri Cartier-Bresson’s An Eye at The Museum of Modern Art, New York. The group had high energy and were very interested. In the end, Alan suggested the group break into smaller groups and go back to the photos that really interested them. Everyone was very happy with this and Alan spent another hour answering specific questions and listening to the keen observations visitors made about the artwork.

We had organised to take photographs as a small group retired to coffee and conversation in our Manhattan Lounge. However the sheer number of participants prevented this from happening – which is a positive in our eyes. Our day may not have gone exactly as we imagined it, nevertheless to quote Alan, “It was a heck of a lot of fun!”



Host Reports: Chazen Museum of Art in Madison, Wisconsin

[In this series, we will be posting reports from Slow Art Day hosts around the world who held Slow Art Day events on April 27, 2013. This week, we are featuring the Slow Art Day event run by Karen Barrett-Wilt, held at the Chazen Museum of Art in Madison, Wisconsin]

Hello from Madison WI!

Highlights of our first Slow Art Day included eating lunch outside (Spring is here!), 15 participants, and a great conversation. The conversation required very little facilitating from me. A couple of people had never been to the Chazen Museum of Art, but all were still very willing to talk about their experiences. We had a spirited conversation with a lot of respectful disagreement, which is one thing that I love about art – no one is wrong! I’d like to add my thanks to the organizers – you were incredibly efficient and responsive, and made it all so easy. Thank you!


Karen also included a couple of photographs of one of the pieces they viewed at their Slow Art Day, Beth Cavener Stichter’s L’Amante, 2012.

Stichter L'Amante 2

Stichter L'Amante 3

Host Reports: SNAP Gallery in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

[In this series, we will be posting reports from Slow Art Day hosts around the world who held Slow Art Day events on April 27, 2013. This week, we are featuring the Slow Art Day event run by blog manager Tori and her partner Chelsey from PrairieSeen, held at SNAP Gallery in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada]

Hello all!

Slow Art Day 2013 is sadly over, but we are looking forward to hosting again next year…

Our event (the first in Edmonton!) went very well. We had 12 participants signed up on Eventbrite (including the two hosts) and 18 people who joined the Facebook event. In total we ended up having 8 people altogether; a small group that worked well together in the small space that is SNAP Gallery.

group shot

In the nature of our blog/ website/ open platform whose mandate is to cultivate a discourse about local arts in Edmonton, we had a very informal Slow Art Day. Of course, we told the participants the premise of the event, but left them free to choose their own five works to look at (there are only two exhibition spaces at SNAP, with approximately 10 works in each). Participants thus looked at all of the works, but focused on their choices. We also had the chance to observe open studio at SNAP (which is a print-based gallery and studio), which was great; since printmaking is so technical it was interesting to see how the process works.

We had a really great discussion afterwards over lunch at a delicious local restaurant (of course!) where we talked about slow looking, the work in the exhibitions, arts education, art in Edmonton, working in galleries, going to galleries etc. We had great feedback, took a small album of photos, and hope to meet again in the future before the next Slow Art Day (hopefully with even more participants!)

Tori and Chelsey

Slow Art Day at LACMA with Monika Del Bosque

[Slow Art Day Founder Phil Terry recently interviewed Monika De Bosque, three-time host of Slow Art Day at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.]


Robert Matta – Burn, Baby Burn

Slow Art Day: You’ve been a Slow Art Day host since the beginning. Why?

Monika:  Art has the power to move us, and there is a certain potency in knowing that we’re all participating at the same time (give or take).  There’s something special about that.

Slow Art Day: You have 100 people coming to LACMA on Saturday and 10 moderators. Tell us more about the design of your Slow Art Day.

Monika:  It started out that my co-host and I took students from our respective classes at Pierce College in Woodland Hills, CA.  Melanie McQuitty teaches Aesthetics and Philosophy of Art in the Sociology/Philosophy Department and I teach Studio Art courses and direct the college Art Gallery.

Slow Art Day: Do professors from different departments there typically team up like that?

Monika: It is actually rather unusual for faculty at our college to do interdisciplinary activities such as this, but we saw the correlation between our classes and really enjoy collaborating together.  Our first year co-hosting it was really a student event with about 60 students.

Slow Art Day: But, now you have an interesting mix of students and the public, right?

Monika: Yes. I really enjoy the fact that there is a mixture of both students and people from all over Los Angeles.

Slow Art Day: What art did you pick for Slow Art Day this year?

Monika:  We have some great art selected! We are looking at Gego’s Column, Squared Reticularia, 1972; Roberto Matta’s Burn, Baby, Burn, 1965-66; Charles Howard’s Double Circle, 1950; Edward Biberman’s The White Firescape, 1956; Marc Chagall’s Violinist on a Bench, 1920; and finally George Segal’s, Old Woman in a Window, 1965.

Slow Art Day: And what about your unique approach to moderators?

Monika: We recruit about eight other moderators besides ourselves because with such a huge turnout, we break into groups of ten or so for our discussion time.  Our moderators are students who have taken our courses and attended past Slow Art Day events, faculty members from other colleges, museum educators, and artists. It helps that we know people within the field of art and art education, but we are actually pretty selective about who we ask because we want the discussions to be engaging and interesting.

Slow Art Day: How do you determine the topics for the moderators?

Monika: Instead of choosing one piece or topic to discuss, we allow our moderators to pick a piece they want to lead a discussion on and then let our attendees to self select their discussion group based upon these discussion topics.  Within reason.  We will move people around if we see that a group has twenty people and another has only three.  Because we allow our moderators this level of autonomy, this is why we are very selective in who we ask to lead a discussion.

Slow Art Day: What do you do during the discussions?

Monika: I generally lead a group on the museum experience as this relates to a particular piece, or a group on the elements and principles of design in a particular work since I teach 2D Design.  In order to keep a sense of continuity with our large group, we stay at our venue for discussion, and we keep our small discussion groups within proximity to each other.  This does prove challenging at a large, busy museum like LACMA!  This year we have begun to work more closely with their staff, and have found a location for our discussion that we think will work really well for this (stay tuned).  It can be hotter than blazes by April in LA (two years ago it was a 100 degree day), so we’re always looking for shade.  Next year we hope to secure an indoor space by working with the museum staff.

Slow Art Day: You yourself are both an artist and a teacher. Tell us more.

Monika:  Well yes, I am one of those people fortunate enough to make a living doing what I love.  I have an MFA in Studio Art, and studied Museum Collections Management—both at John F. Kennedy University.  I actually first heard about Slow Art Day from a colleague at JFKU, Susan Spero, who posted the very first announcement back in 2010 on her Facebook page.  Seems I was destined to be an educator because I love teaching and I love art and I love museums.  So, I am very happy getting to teach art and run a gallery and teach exhibition design.  For me, it’s the perfect combination. When I’m not teaching, my art revolves around exploring identity. I’m a painter and in my paintings I like to push boundaries with my materials. I draw and mix media and incorporate collage and handwritten text into my work.  I have a deep love of color, line, design, and geometric forms and structures.  My students tell me I am a fun instructor and people often mistake me for my students.  When I’m not in my studio, I can often be found mucking about in my garden or kitchen getting inspiration for my art.

[Make sure to check out Slow Art Day at the LACMA in Los Angeles.]

Host to Host: Rachel Matthews

[Hosts around the world are introducing themselves to each other in advance of Slow Art Day. Today we’re featuring some words from Rachel Matthews, the volunteer host at the Getty Center in West Los Angeles]

Hello fellow Slow Art hosts,

My name is Rachel Mathews and I will be hosting this year’s Slow Art Day at the Getty Center in West Los Angeles. This is my first year as a host, 4th year as a participant; I’m looking forward to being a part of Slow Art Day once again! While I’m not an art scholar, I do love viewing art and Slow Art Day is a great way to expand my art horizons. The Getty Center is a wonderful museum that has a wide variety of art, which makes it difficult to pick just 5 pieces; fortunately, I was able to get a friend to make the choices (we were originally supposed to co-host, but sadly, she’ll be out of town on Saturday).

I had an incredible experience the first year I attended Slow Art Day, at the Norton Simon Museum in Pasadena, that’s kept me coming back. A friend/co-worker was hosting and, in the viewing guide, there was a piece that I felt I was not going to enjoy. After I paid for my museum admission, I decided to head to the end of the furthest gallery and work my way back. As I walked, I spotted some of the other pieces in the viewing guide and made note where they were; suddenly, I saw a piece in the distance and was drawn to it – it was the piece I thought I wouldn’t like. But it was much larger than it looked in the guide (it ended up having an entire room to itself; I could see it about a gallery and a half away due to its size), which changed the experience completely. As I spent more and more time with this huge painting, I kept noticing more and more details about it and in it, which was intriguing. After spending 15 minutes with the piece, I absolutely loved it! After seeing all of the other pieces in the viewing guide, I decided that the first piece was my favorite. The following year, I went back to the same museum and made sure to spend time with it again.

One of my other friends wasn’t able to make the first 3 Slow Art Days, so I organized an interim Slow Art experience at the Getty last Fall for that friend and the friend who has hosted the previous Slow Art Days I attended. Since I don’t live near the Getty, I chose all of the artwork off of their website and wasn’t sure what my own reactions to the pieces I had selected would be, much less the impressions my 2 companions that day would have. I made sure to choose a couple of pieces that I wouldn’t normally be attracted to, hoping to re-enact that first year Slow Art attitude shift. Although we had to spend some time searching for the various pieces (which was part of the adventure), we all had a great time and, afterwards, had a very robust discussion about how the pieces impacted us.

I’m really looking forward to next Saturday. I wish everyone great success with their Slow Art Day events around the world!

Rachel Mathews

[Make sure to check out (and register for!) Rachel’s Slow Art Day event at the Getty Centre in West Los Angeles]

Slow Art Day with David Faux at the University Museums at Iowa State University

[In this series, we interview hosts for Slow Art Day and get their thoughts on hosting, the art of looking, and the slow art community. Today we interview David Faux, who is hosting a Slow Art Day event at the University Museums at Iowa State University.]

Slow Art Day: Tell us a little about yourself.

David: I am a recent graduate of Iowa State University with a B.S. in history and a minor in Native American studies. I’m a new interpretation specialist here and I am responsible for working with my colleagues to develop programing that will interest the fickle and ever-changing pool of 18-24 year old students that we have on campus.

Slow Art Day: And tell us about the distinctive history and collection of the University Museums at Iowa State University.

David: Iowa State University was the very first land grant college in the nation and today Iowa State has the largest collection of public works of art on any campus in the nation. This unparalleled collection of over 2,000 works includes two grand scaled murals by Grant Wood, 12 major sculpture installations by Christian Petersen during his 21 year residency, and nearly 600 other major works of art by nationally and internationally known artists.

Slow Art Day: Why did you choose to host Slow Art Day there?

David: Far too many students  walk to and from class with their heads down oblivious to their surroundings. Programs like Slow Art Day fit right in with our other programming efforts to get people to stop, look around, and engage with all of the wonderful objects that inhabit their learning environment.

Slow Art Day: What works are you going to be viewing?

David: We are going to be looking at some of our N.C. Wyeth painting from the artist’s America in the Making series. We are fortunate to have the complete set and we are going to be loaning the works out soon, so I am giving as many ‘last chance’ exposures to the work as possible. The works are are part of the New Deal era regional works, one of our most extensive collections.

Slow Art Day: Tell us about a work of art you like.

David: The other day I represented the University Museums in rededicating The History of Dairying mural located in the courtyard of our Food Sciences department. That mural was the very first that Christian Petersen painted/sculpted for the college (as part of the PWPA) and the fountain attached to the mural has been out of service for over 20 years.  That fountain plays a crucial role in the history of our art on campus legacy, but more importantly was an important part of a lot of past Iowa Staters’ lives and memories. To share in those memories and be a part of a new and exciting chapter of that sculpture’s role on campus was an extremely humbling moment for me.

Slow Art Day: Thank you, David. Good luck with Slow Art Day!

[Make sure to check out David’s Slow Art Day event at the University Museums at Iowa State University.]

Slow Art Day with Elizabeth Markevitch at ikonoTV, Berlin

[In this series, we interview hosts for Slow Art Day and get their thoughts on hosting, the art of looking, and the slow art community. Today we interview Elizabeth Markevitch, who is a global sponsor of Slow Art Day through her interesting company, ikonoTV, Berlin.]

Slow Art Day: Let’s start with a bit of background about yourself and ikonoTV. You are the founder, right?

Elizabeth: Yes, I founded ikono in 2006.

Slow Art Day: What was your founding vision?

ElizabethDuring my long-time experience in the art world, I became more and more aware of the necessity for exploring new ways of displaying art and opening it up to a broader audience. Art needs to be seen, and the joy of seeing and experiencing art should not be restricted to a small group of art professionals or collectors.

Slow Art Day: As you know, of course, we share that vision with you. How did you get from that vision to starting ikono?

ElizabethI explored different paths.  I cofounded in 1998 as the first online gallery at that time selling international contemporary art on a global scale. Then, some years later, the fundamental idea of making art internationally accessible found its final and strongest realization through ikono.

Slow Art Day: So why bring art to TV in this new way?

Elizabeth: I thought why not achieve for the arts with TV as radio has been achieving for music? Why not use this mass medium for bringing the entire world of arts into the homes of an international public? Over the past few years, we have established a wonderful collaboration between art historians, curators, and cameramen in working with artists and international art institutions. We are producing video clips about artworks from all time periods, movements and disciplines, highlighting single exhibitions as well as the most stunning collections and treasures of our cultural heritage.

Slow Art Day: Tell us more about how you ‘see’ art.

Elizabeth: The first encounter with art is a visual one – you just need your eyes for discovering and experiencing its richness and plurality. A certain knowledge or expertise is what comes in a second or even third step. ikono offers this very first meeting: we are building a visual bridge to the arts, encouraging you to trust your eyes, and to rely on what you see and feel.

Slow Art Day: How does this connect with your notion of time?

Elizabeth: We take the notion of time seriously by inviting you to dive into the artwork contemplatively and to become fascinated by its details. You will always discover things you have never seen or noticed before! We allow art to speak for itself, which is why we never add any sounds or narrative elements and why we avoid any interruptions from commentary or advertisement. However, in case you would like to know more, you can of course find all additional information and further links on our homepage.

Slow Art Day: You guys are planning something special for Slow Art Day – five video clips, each dedicated to a single artwork. Say more.

Elizabeth: We decided to dedicate the entire program for April 27th, 2013 to Slow Art Day. Our curators have selected some of our most beautiful video clips to be presented throughout the day: we will showcase Hans Holbein the Younger’s double portrait of The Ambassadors and the unexcelled depiction of The Tower of Babel, painted by Pieter Brueghel the Elder. We will present artworks of Caspar David Friedrich, the wonderful Eugene Delacroix, Vincent van Gogh, and the universal genius Karl Friedrich Schinkel. Viewers will also find contemporary examples, including the fascinating light installation of Kite & Laslett, our current Artists of the Month, and the Spatial Reflections series, a selection of artistic positions from Lebanon, Syria and Palestine, curated by Charlotte Bank. I do not want to reveal too much before its presentation, so please feel cordially invited to tune in for discovering more!

Slow Art Day: Can people watch ikonoTV if they are not currently in your cable footprint?

Elizabeth: At the moment you must meet certain technical requirements to watch our HDTV program. While ikonoMENASA is broadcasted in the countries of the Middle East, Northern Africa, and Southern Asia via satellite (ArabSat) or IPTV (du, Etisalat or Solidere IPTV Broadband Network), ikonoTV is on view in Germany and Italy via Telekom Entertain and Cubovision.

But we have very good news: In 2013 we will increase our international presence by also being on view in new countries throughout Europe. Furthermore, we have already started preparing our live web stream, which is to be launched within the upcoming months. From that very moment on, everyone around the world will be able to enjoy art and to contemplate it wherever they are-an amazing perspective! In June we will announce further details, so stop by our website or join our newsletter to stay posted. Also begin checking our blog right away, where you will find all further information about ikono’s support of Slow Art Day 2013!

Slow Art Day: Great – thanks for sponsoring Slow Art Day again this year.

[Make sure to tune into ikonoTV, Berlin, if you can!]

Slow Art Day with Natalie Iturbe at the Melrose Trading Post

[In this series, we interview hosts for Slow Art Day and get their thoughts on hosting, the art of looking, and the slow art community. Today we interview Natalie Iturbe, who is hosting a Slow Art Day event at the Melrose Trading Post in Los Angeles.]

Slow Art Day: Tell us about yourself and your passion, Natalie.

Natalie: My passion is art! I am a visual artist and somewhat of a curator. I express my passion through my job and through my artwork. At my job I bring in various local vendors to sell in our weekly community market. It is a particular selection process, and I aim to keep a good balance of original artwork, vintage and antique items, fun collectibles and fashion-related items. Through my art I am able to release my inner thought processes and energies onto a canvas or a piece of paper. It is absolutely necessary for me to create art in order to maintain a balanced and happy life.

Slow Art Day: And what is Melrose Trading Post?

Natalie: The Melrose Trading Post is the weekly nonprofit community market I manage every Sunday. We are located in the heart of Los Angeles at Fairfax and Melrose Avenues in the parking lot of Fairfax High School. We are sandwiched between two of LA’s artistic communities, Fairfax Village and the Street Art District. The vendors that come in range from local artists, craftspeople, entrepreneurs, collectors, antique buffs, historians and more. The money raised through our $2 admission fee and the vendor booth rentals benefit programs for Fairfax High School students. These programs include club fulfillment requests, Greenway Arts Education Programs, teacher supply requests, school beautification projects and more.

Slow Art Day: You have hosted Slow Art Day before. How’d you first hear about it?

Natalie: I saw an article about it online last year. I volunteer at the county museum (LACMA) and I noticed that many people only look at individual pieces of art for a few seconds. The artist may have taken years to create the piece, but it only gets a few seconds of a patron’s time. By bringing Slow Art Day to the Melrose Trading Post, I saw it as a way to slow Angelenos’ hasty life pace down long enough to look at the local artists’ work that we feature.

Slow Art Day: At your Slow Art Day – the artists are there to interact directly with the public, yes?

Natalie: Yes – the Melrose Trading Post is a very interactive experience. We have over 240 artists and vendors who you can talk to, haggle with, and pick their minds about their various topics of expertise. Our Slow Art Day is unique because you can actually speak with the artist. You can ask them questions, make a direct purchase and follow their creative journey. We like Slow Art Day here because it is yet another way to bring patrons and local artists together to engage and inspire each other.

Slow Art Day: What is one of your favorite art works?

Natalie: I love the work of Remedios Varo. Her paintings are so mystical and haunting. I also love Henri Matisse’s artwork, especially his more colorful pieces before World War 1.

[Make sure to check out Natalie’s Slow Art Day event at the Melrose Trading Post in Los Angeles, California.]

Michelle Fracaro: Matisse & More for Slow Art Day

Take a short walkabout to meet a Slow Art Day volunteer host from Down Under: Michelle Fracaro, the Program Coordinator in the Learning and Access section of the National Gallery of Australia.

Slow Art Day: Why are you hosting Slow Art Day?
Michelle: This is the National Gallery of Australia’s 3rd Slow Art Day event. We really feel that it is a fantastic program—it gives the public an opportunity to really look at art and then talk about it in their own words.

Slow Art Day: Have you selected your artwork for Slow Art Day yet?
Michelle: Yes! We’re looking at several pieces from artists of many nationalities from different periods. Read the full list on our website.

Jackson Pollack’s Blue poles (1952) is one of 7 pieces selectedfor the Slow Art Day 2012 event at the National Gallery of Australia

Slow Art Day: What is your favourite piece of art or one piece that has had a great affect on you?
Michelle: In the permanent collection here at the National Gallery of Australia, my favourite work is Mark Rothko’s 1957 # 20. I just find it so amazingly beautiful, calm, and  a bit sad all at once.

Mark Rothko’s 1957 #20

Slow Art Day: Tell us more about your Slow Art Day event.

Michelle:  Many of the programs we do centre on other people—academics, curators or other experts—in their respective fields discussing particular aspects of art. But Slow Art Day allows for everyone to have their own thoughts and ideas on art and to share them with others. We have selected 7 works for participants to look at this year. It’s up to the individual to decide on how many they want to look at in the time allocated, though we do have some common pieces we ask participants to view in order to have common pieces to discuss at lunch.

If you’re in the Canberra area, join Michelle and fellow art appreciators at the National Gallery of Australia on Slow Art Day, this April 28, 2012.

Hedy Buzan: Focused on Diebenkorn for Slow Art Day

Hedy Buzan is the 2012 Slow Art Day host at the Orange County Museum of Art in Newport Beach, California. A veteran Slow Art Day host and advisory board member, Hedy is a painter, printmaker, and adjunct instructor at Saddleback Community College.

Slow Art Day: Why are you hosting Slow Art Day?

Hedy: Slow Art Day is all about the artwork and the viewer’s reaction to it. Being an artist myself, I like to bring an artist’s perspective to the process.

Slow Art Day: Have you selected your artwork for Slow Art Day yet?
Hedy: We will be visiting the Richard Diebenkorn show at Orange County Museum of Art in Newport Beach, California. The plan is to look at five pieces—two large Ocean Park paintings, a miniature painting on a cigar box lid, an etching, and a collage—to discover how Diebenkorn explored similar formal interests in different media.

Slow Art Day: What is your favorite piece of art or one piece that has had a great affect on you?
Hedy: My favorite piece of art is Bathers by the River by Matisse. This is a painting he worked on over an eight-year span from 1909-1917.  I love how he integrated the languages of Cubism, Abstraction, and non-Western art traditions with his unique sensibility.

Slow Art Day: Tell us more about your Slow Art Day event.
Hedy:  Our Slow Art Day event will be late in the day and a bit truncated (3-5 PM) as I teach that day; however, I didn’t want to skip it. This will be my fourth Slow Art Day and my third time hosting. Each time participants leave raving about the great time they had, saying that they can’t wait until next year!

If you can, join Hedy at the Orange County Museum of Art this April 28, 2012.