For their 6th Slow Art Day, the Norton Simon Museum in Pasadena, California, designed a virtual slow looking event focused on the Russian painter Vassily Kandinsky’s painting Heavy Circles.
On April 10, 2021, the museum posted Kandinsky’s artwork along with slow looking prompts to their Instagram page. Viewers were invited to focus on an area of the painting that drew their eye, then turn their attention to how this area relates to the surrounding sections. Then visitors were asked to consider the entire painting, contemplating how the different parts relate to each other.
The post was a great success, and was liked 1,087 times.
Mariko Tu, who has been the Manager of Youth and Family Programs at the Norton Simon for the last seven years, let us know that this is her last year at the museum.
We want to take a moment to thank Mariko for her longtime leadership in the Slow Art Day movement. We love the slow looking events Mariko has designed over the years and look forward to doing some slow looking with her wherever she goes from here (see her great 2020 session design here).
In the meantime, we look forward to what the Norton Simon creates next year for Slow Art Day 2022.
Participants joined thetwo-hour Zoom session, which included 10 minute observation of each of the three paintings, followed by discussion.
Lidija Drobež, founder of Galleria l’Arte di Seta, was positively surprised by the enthusiasm and depth of insight from the participants. In fact, to foster even deeper discussion, she said the gallery might focus on one or two pieces of art next year.
Several participants left wonderful feedback.
“When I heard the title of event I was sceptical. After the session I can say that it was not only relaxing and reenergising but it gave me a lot of insights about myself.”
Ana Tijssen – Slow Art Day participant
“I joined the session out of simple curiosity. For the first time in my life I took more time to view a painting: I discovered things which took me by surprise. What I take out of whole event, is how diverse insights participants obtained and yet our conversation was open and positive all the time.”
Monika K. – Slow Art Day participant
“The more I was focusing on the paintings, the more it made me realise how everything is connected in life. For example – much more than being fond of traveling, I am fond of living in foreign countries and during the Slow Art Day session I realised why. When I allowed myself to stop and take time to be with the painting it was only then when I could feel a deeper connection and a sense of familiarity. It is the same with foreign countries – traveling through them seems like rushing through the gallery from one famous painting to another – the experience may appear fleeting and empty. Living in a foreign country, on the contrary, is like taking time to get to know the “painting” in depth, which feels meaningful and enriching.”
Anja Humljan – Slow Art Day participant
“I really appreciated the event, because it created the possibility of valuing different ways of seeing. One was to connect with myself and rediscover the joy of personal discovery almost like a child. And, of course, last but not least, I really enjoyed the insights and comments of other participants.”
Nenad Filipovic – Slow Art Day participant
Due to the enthusiastic response to the event by participants, the Gallery plans to organize an in-person event later this year once they can re-open. Visit their Instagram account to stay updated with their work.
At Slow Art Day HQ, we love the passion for slow looking that Lidija Drobež and her participants show. We must admit that our original design for Slow Art Day was to have participants look for one hour at one painting, but we decided that might be too intimidating. Yet, we still know the power of even slower looking, and are thus excited to see what Lidija Drobež comes up with for 2022.