Led by Director of Education, Philipp Malzl along with student educators Joseph Rowley, Susannah Kearon, Sophie Houghton, Kate Daily, and Alexa Ginn, the social media-based event encouraged viewers to slow down the fast pace of internet/social meldia viewing and contemplate a work of art for 60 seconds or more.
Some of the comments received include: “I definitely am the type to often rush through art museums and only stop to look at paintings that I have seen before. Once I stopped to look at this for longer I realized just how liminal the composition is, and how much darker it felt when I just spent time with it for a moment. Super cool!”
“I love this series of 60-second videos! It is meditative to watch. My daughters are watching them with me now. One daughter noticed the vertical lines of the figure and the basketball hoop, and how if you turned the painting upside down, those lines would still be in similar places. The other daughter noticed that the basketball hoop was a tin can with the bottom cut out.”
The Brigham Young University Museum of Art hosts slow looking tours on a quarterly basis, in addition to having a printed slow looking guide available year-round at the information desk.
We look forward to seeing what they come up with for Slow Art Day 2023.
For their third Slow Art Day, the TarraWarra Museum of Art in Melbourne, Australia, invited the public to a mindful slow looking session and group reflection featuring work by David Noonan from the exhibition David Noonan: Only when it’s cloudless . The event was led by Sarah Metzner, museum educator at TarraWarra and a visual, collaborative, and public artist who has been working with different community groups for 30 years.
On Slow Art Day, participants followed a 20-20-20 ratio of time during the hour. They were first welcomed and then invited to look at David Noonan’s artwork “Only when it’s cloudless” for 20 minutes.
The group then spent 20 minutes slowly watching David Noonan’s 20 minute film: Mnemosyne, which has a focus on evoking memories (a link to the trailer is included in the picture below) before the session was rounded up with shared reflections for the final 20 minutes.
Note: We recommend you watch the trailer. We found it beautiful, eerie, and a little ominous.
The event was well received, with one participant saying that the experience “enhanced my love of art and mindfulness and reminded me to slow down and be present with myself and my practice.”
We look forward to what the TarraWarra Museum of Art comes up with for Slow Art Day 2023.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Frederiksberg Museums, located in Denmark near Copenhagen, are a group of four museums: Bakkehuset, Storm, Møstings and Cisternerne, all within walking distance of each other – and all participated in Slow Art Day.
Here at Slow Art Day HQ we wish we could have participated in this interesting exhibit.
The way it worked was eight people sat down around a table that had a wooden ball that rolled on a track, eventually stopping in front of a letter. The letter corresponded to cabinets and texts around the room that then formed the framework for a slow conversation. Once the conversation finished, they rolled the ball again spurring yet another slow dialogue. Very cool way of choosing a piece of art (or artifacts).
At the nearby Storm museum, Slow Art Day participants were invited to participate in the study of Danish humor and satire through the work of Robert Storm Peterson, also known as Storm P.
In addition to these two in-person events, five guided Slow Looking videos were featured on the Frederiksberg Museums’ YouTube channel.
You can view them (in Danish) below:
The Frederiksberg Museums host slow looking events twice a week in one of their four venues throughout the year.
They also have some really interesting things planned:
Podcast They are launching a podcast later this year that will focus on mindful Slow Looking.
Mental Health They also plan to integrate Slow Looking into their art and health programs for the mentally vulnerable.
We are glad that the Frederiksberg Museums have brought their collective expertise and creativity to the slow art movement and look forward to their podcast, mental health programs, and design of their 2023 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:
Pay attention to your senses
Open yourself up
Allow yourself to enter the artwork
Trust your intuition
Share your findings
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.
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.
The Universidad Panamericana, Guadalajara campus, located in Zapopan, Mexico, held their first Slow Art Week as a part of their Lead Creative Festival. Lead Creative is a festival that invites young people to seek change through art, and was hosted by Andrea Guadalupe Covarrubias. For the festival, art is broadly defined to include the visual arts, along with instrumental and vocal music, dance, and theater.
With over 1800 participants, this hybrid event had both in-person engagement and social media posts on Facebook and Instagram with an average reach of 700 people per post.
Based on the success of their first Slow Art Day, they plan to hold slow looking sessions throughout the year and not just with visual art, but also with the choir, theater group, and dance artists.
The event was advertised as a part of the Lead Creative festival with the below flyer.
To celebrate Slow Art Day 2021 when museums were locked down in England, artist Jo Essen, based in Birmingham, UK, organized a slow looking bike ride to Sarehole Mill.
The historical mill, today a museum and bakery, is well-known for its connection with J. R. R. Tolkien, author of the Lord of the Rings trilogy. He once lived across the road from the Mill, and it inspired his writings about Middle-earth.
Essen shared an online video from the bike ride, and encouraged others in the pandemic lockdown to get out and do some slow looking. “It was wonderful to be involved in slow looking even when we were not able to visit museums,” said Jo Essen.
So, while the British Museum, Tate Modern, the Norton Simon Museum, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Smithsonian, and many other large museums ran virtual (or in-person events), and while a number of smaller museums and galleries also ran Slow Art Day sessions, 2021 also included Jo Essen and her family looking slowly at nature and architecture.
This report is a fitting final post for 2021, especially as we and the world struggle through yet another wave of the coronavirus. (Note: you can read all of our 2021 published reports, or wait for our 2021 annual report to be published in February of 2022.)
We hope you have a wonderful new year wherever you are in the world. And perhaps take some inspiration from Essen and go out and do some slow looking at nature, architecture, public art, or in museums and galleries, if they are open in your area.
Stay safe and healthy and get ready for yet another year of building the slow looking movement.
For their first Slow Art Day, Casa Regis, a non-profit association and centre for culture and contemporary art in Valdilana, Italy, featured local artists in a video and social-media-based event.
On April 10, 2021, art photographer and founder of Casa Regis, Mikelle Standbridge, uploaded a series of short videos of different artistic installations on the organization’s Instagram page.
The videos featured a soundscape of birds chirping, as Mikelle briefly introduces works by local artists Sissi Castellano, Daniele Basso, Carla Crosio, Michela Cavagna and herself. Note: the artists were selected and chosen in part because of the interesting juxtaposition of their work against the backdrop of the eighteenth-century building in which Casa Regis is located.
Below you can find pictures of the featured installations, links to the videos, and a brief description of each.
Sissi Castellano‘s silkworm cocoon installation entitled‘ ‘I AM NOT AN ARTIST‘, is based on the Japanese Mingei philosophy of objects, which the artist follows. The Mingei approach simulatenaously focuses on the function and aesthetic value of common household objects.
You can view the installation and the above video here.
Sculptor and artist Daniele Basso‘s ‘Hawk’, which comes from a series called Frames, is a stainless steel and white bronze sculpture. The artist plays with effects of mirroring, showing the complexity and the different levels of reality.
You can find a brief explanation and watch above video here.
Artist Carla Crosio‘s installation, entitled Cancer, is made of of marble, bronze and glass and it takes inspiration from her personal life.
At Slow Art Day HQ, we love the use of video for creating slow looking environments. We recommend that our museum educator and curator friends around the world watch some of the short videos that Mikelle created.
We are also happy to report that their inaugural event was so successful that they then planned in-person Slow Art day events for the rest of 2021. Excellent!
We look forward to whatever Casa Regis comes up with for Slow Art Day 2022.
Jessica, Johanna, Ashley, and Phyl
PS: A press release of the event is available in Italian here.
For their 7th Slow Art Day on April 10th, the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) in Toronto, one of Canada’s largest art museums, shared a video and five artworks from their collection to their social media platforms, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
A couple of days before the event, AGO uploaded a slow looking video featuring Clarence Alphonse Gagnon’s ‘Study of a Hare in Winter’ (1922), with a slow looking and mindfulness exercise guided by Melissa Smith, Assistant Curator of Community Programs.
On the actual day of the event, participants were then invited to focus on each of these five artworks for 10 minutes:
Kazuo Nakamura, Blue Reflections, 1962
Abraham Anghik Ruben, Sedna, c.1990
Vilhelm Hammershøi, Interior with Four Etchings, 1904
Julie Mehretu, Algorithms, Apparitions and Translations, 2013
Christi Belcourt, Wisdom of the Universe. 2014
They were also encouraged to leave comments under each image.
Below are images of the artworks, which we encourage you to experience slowly using the AGO’s prompts that follow.
Prompts for Kazuo Nakamura
For this Kazuo Nakamura piece don’t just look slowly, look closely. See how subtly the colours change. Pay attention to how the gradual shifts in brushstrokes give a sense of movement to the landscape. What do you notice about how the brushstrokes are applied? Each and every brushstroke is calculated and purposefully applied. Nakamura is best known for this analytical approach in his paintings, and in his later works, he was influenced by mathematics and scientific theories. He sought to discover a universal pattern in art and nature. What do you think this universal pattern would look like? Do you prefer an analytical approach or a more gestural one?
Prompts for Abraham Anghik Ruben
Abraham Anghik Ruben is a storyteller and tells his stories through the medium of sculpture. His sculptures often tell the legends, myths, and spiritual traditions of the Inuit people and the Arctic land. A recurring figure in Ruben’s works is the Inuit Sea Goddess, Sedna. Look at how her hair dramatically but gracefully arches up behind her like it is flowing with the movement of water. Notice how her eyes stand out from the rest of the sculpture, and how she clutches her hands close to her torso. What do her expression and her posture suggest? What is the message Ruben is trying to share?
Prompts for Vilhelm Hammershøi
Looking for a little calm and quiet? Come and join us in Vilhelm Hammershøi’s “Interior with Four Etchings”. A muted scene in both colour and sound, we invite you to hush the world around you as you spend some time with this piece. The female figure is the artist’s wife, Ida. Since she has her back to us, we cannot read her expression. But because she is turned away, we can enter and explore this private space freely. Take a look around. Notice how the light softly enters from the left, creating reflections on surfaces and depth in the space. Where do your eyes go? To the items on the table? To the etchings on the wall? What are the etchings of? Look closely because there are details here that could have easily escaped you before.
Prompts for Julie Mehretu
There’s no piece quite like this Julie Mehretu that demonstrates the importance of an unhurried and patient approach to art. Mehretu is inspired by landscapes, cities, and human activity within nature. Particularly interested in layered imagery, Mehretu’s printmaking technique requires her to slow down as she layers line upon line to create this surreal landscape. Take a look, what do you see? Now, look closer. Even closer. The closer you look the more details you’ll see. The larger narrative will begin to fall apart, revealing various smaller narratives beneath. Just as the piece evolves with each of Mehretu’s lines, your experience of this work will also evolve over time. So, go on. Look again.
Prompts for Christi Belcourt
Ten minutes is hardly enough time to contemplate the wisdom of the universe, both the concept and this piece by Metis artist Christi Belcourt. Take your time to really explore this piece. What type of birds do you see? What type of flowers and vegetation can you recognize? Imagine yourself in this space. Move through the branches and notice the balance and harmony. Can you hear the sounds of the animals? Can you smell the flowers around you? See how everything is connected. This great network of life. Belcourt’s piece asks us to reflect upon the well-being of all living species on this earth, as the current climate crisis affects us all. Take a deep breath, and surround yourself with the wisdom of the universe.
The event was well received, with 10,000+ likes and views on the AGO’s social media platforms.
Below are some great quotes form participants:
This is my favourite painting at the AGO! I always spend a long time in front of it and always pick up something new each visit.
Participant’s comment under Nakamura’s painting – Instagram
Love this idea!!
Participant’s comment on Instagram
We appreciate the Art Gallery of Ontario’s thoughtful design for this multi-day virtual event, and look forward to what they come up with for Slow Art Day in 2022.