“It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.” Henry David Thoreau
Slow Art Day is a global museum event that encourages visitors to slow down, relax, and immerse yourself in art and meditation. Over 100 museums around the world participate in the event every year.
We will be celebrating this day at Crystal Bridges! This Saturday, April 6, come to the museum to celebrate Slow Art Day with a full list of activities designed to help you slow down, meditate, and reflect on art. There will be guided meditations at select artworks throughout the day. There will also be calming music performances throughout the galleries, slow painting demonstrations, artmaking activities, and yoga practice for all ages.
In addition to spending an activity-filled day at the museum, here are some other reasons to participate in Slow Art Day this Saturday:
According to an article in The Art Newspaper, research shows that visitor interactions with artworks are generally brief–an average viewing time of 28.6 seconds per work, according to a 2017 study by Jeffrey and Lisa Smith and Pablo Tinio at the Art Institute of Chicago. People who have practiced slow-looking with art have noticed unexpected themes, color palettes, objects, strokes, and meanings hidden in the artworks they explore. What new experiences will you have at Crystal Bridges?
Meditation has become one of the most popular New Year’s Resolutions in recent years. With the demands of everyday life constantly knocking at your door, the days can get stressful quickly. Take some time to unwind and practice your meditation and mindfulness techniques in front of the artworks at Crystal Bridges. It’s a great way to escape from the bustle, quiet your mind, and relax with no stress.
Spending so much time with artworks might move you to give it a try yourself. At Crystal Bridges, there will be various stations set up around the museum for visitors to get creative after a rejuvenating meditation session. Among the artmaking activities, there will be a dedicated space to write haikus, as well as places to try your hand at plein air painting and Buddha boards!
Regional artist Steven Paul Judd, whose work is currently featured in Men of Steel, Women of Wonder, will be leading a stop motion animation activity station in the special exhibition. Visitors are welcome to get in on the action, move props, take photos, and record them to play back your very own stop motion film, all led by a featured artist!
Local yoga instructors will be leading yoga practices at various times throughout the day. This is a great opportunity to participate in Slow Art Day while also getting in a workout and enjoying the beautiful art and nature all around you. Feel free to bring the kids too, as the practices will be available for all ages and levels.
Share your slow art experiences with friends, or get to meet someone new during one of the Guided Meditations. What new things did you notice in the painting that you’ve never noticed before? What new emotions did they evoke? Where did your mind wander during your meditation? Continue the conversation over a lunch break or afternoon coffee at Eleven and the Coffee Bar.
Slow Art Day is not about rushing through the museum to see everything at once; it’s about taking your time with a selection of artworks and sitting with them, thinking and meditating deeply. Once you learn how to do this at Slow Art Day, you can return to Crystal Bridges again and again, practicing your slow-looking techniques with different artworks each time.