Last year I explored the concept of slow drawing — and slow art — in various ways. First, I learned about Amy Maricle’s approach to slow drawing, a quiet, meditative process of making marks on a page. Second, I found out about SlowArt, a practice devoted to making art “a way of life, a method of being, a way of perceiving the world”. Third, I went on to read about the Slow Movement many were embracing, the whole idea being that the world is moving too fast; maybe we should slow down long enough to at least smell a few flowers along the way.
Of all the things I read, perhaps nothing piqued my curiosity as much as “Slow Art Day – 2021”. It had occurred in April of that year, about 2 months before I wrote my post: Slow Down, You Move Too Fast. I wondered then if any of the “slow art” activities would be repeated in 2022. Yes, they are, and in fact, today is the day that’s been set aside for appreciating art at a whole new SLOW level — well, at least at some galleries and museums.
The “official” site — Slow Art Day — does show April 2, 2022 as the correct date. Other sites, however, insist that Slow Art Day is always the second Saturday in April, so if you miss out on celebrating today, just give it a slow-go next Saturday.
In all there are 173 venues participating. You’ll find a listing here. I wish it were arranged geographically rather than alphabetically, but as far as I can tell, there’s no venue close to me. The National Museum of Women in Washington DC is participating online, though, so perhaps I can do a bit of “slow art” appreciation that way. And going back again to when we should celebrate “Slow Art”, they’ve made it into a week-long celebration which began back on March 25.
How do you participate in Slow Art Day? You find a venue, sign up to take part, and then visit the venue. You choose a few pieces of art — one to five — and you view them… slowly. You take your time. You study them closely. You fully appreciate all that you’re seeing. The Slow Art site suggests viewing each work for about ten minutes.
Of course, since Slow Art Day is already upon us — officially, at least — you might not have an opportunity to rush out and join in. Rushing would sort of defeat the whole purpose anyway, so just settle back in your chair, choose a few artworks, and enjoy having your own “Slow Art Day” from the comfort of your home or studio.
The final part of the process is to discuss the experience, to share insights you’ve gained, to ask questions that have come to mind during the slow art process. Many venues are hosting forums for participants. The National Museum of Women will be hosting an online discussion group, but it appears you must be registered to participate. You might find it enjoyable to do the “slow art” activity with friends or family, followed by a discussion of the art you’ve seen.
If you’d like to take part and want to view any of the works suggested by the National Museum of Women, here is a link to the Slow Art Gallery. Eight artworks are included.
I’ve chosen one print — “Untitled (Paradise)” by Cecily Brown — as the work I’ll be slowly viewing and appreciating.
Perhaps I should have posted about Slow Art Day earlier. Maybe next year I’ll be sure to do that. It would make it easier to find a venue — in person or online — and register for any viewing events or discussion groups. It is an interesting concept, especially in today’s “hurry-up, go faster, hustle and bustle” world.
I’m also going to slow down in my own art practice today. I’m going to take more time and make more thoughtful marks. I’m going to appreciate my own art as well as that of others. We can all benefit, I think, by slowing down a little now and then.