Like the tortoise over the hare, a slow-but-sure pace is winning the race – well, a heat or two, at least. Increasingly, it seems, slow is trendy. Slow food. Slow fashion. Slow art. Saturday, April 12, marked the 4th annual international Slow Art Day, and the Woodson Art Museum was one of 238 venues participating. The idea, by design, is quite simple. Select five artworks and encourage visitors to view, ponder, and then engage with others in casual conversation about the art – all at a leisurely, reflective pace.
At art galleries and museums throughout the world, Slow Art Day varied from impromptu groups deciding to continue conversations over lunch at local restaurants to more formal, curator- or artist-led discussions.
Carol Rossi of Slow Art Santa Monica, where those visiting Bergamot Station art galleriesviewed several photographs and a minimalist sculpture, wrote “being part of a grassroots effort to get people to slow down and look at artwork gives me the warm fuzzies.”
In Rome, Elizabeth Genovesi Founding Director ARTROM, wrote, “taking time to look, to gaze, to behold that which is before us creates a real relationship; two parts meeting and connecting in dialogue. Art is communication after all.”
As the Woodson Art Museum opened on a drizzly Slow Art Day afternoon, visitors received a flyer highlighting five artworks from the three RePurposed & ReImagined exhibitions that opened that same day. Visitors also had the opportunity to meet and hear artist Jennifer Angus talk about how she created her Nature Composed insect artistry in the Museum gallery featuring her site-specific installation. The Museum’s audio tour also includes artists’ insights about each of the five artworks, along with others from exhibitions on view.
Although Slow Art Day shines the worldwide spotlight on taking time to observe, contemplate, and discuss artwork, the principle can be applied anytime.
The founder of Slow Art Day wrote, “If just one more person in the world today learns how to look at and love art, then we will have all reached our mission.”
Adopting the tortoise’s pace is a delightful way to win the “rat race.” Here’s to many more meaningful slow art experiences throughout the coming year.