Here’s an interesting idea: Slow Art Day. This weekend (Saturday April 27, 11am-2pm), various museums and galleries all over the country (and world) will sponsor a moment of art appreciation and conversation. Basically, if you register at a local gallery or museum (see the list of participants here: http://www.slowartday.com/2013-venues/#letter_5175bfce2bf77_N), you’ll gather with other viewers to spend ten minutes looking at five pieces of artwork. Then, over lunch, you’ll have a chance to discuss your experience. What did you notice about each piece? How did your reaction change as you leisurely considered and walked around it? Did you examine it for meaning or simply enjoy the colors, shapes, and texture?
Too easily in the US, our hectic, overactive lives lead us to focus on efficiency and speed. That mindset can be difficult to overcome when in an art museum, and Slow Art Day is a way to encourage a “mindful” approach to each painting and sculpture. Ultimately, it encourages gallery-goers to steep themselves in the effects of the artwork, to luxuriate in the colors, shapes, and textures.
“Mindfulness” has become a recognizable concept, one that’s been translated into a way of combatting stress and even problems with overeating. It can be a way of life as well, facilitating an attunement that enriches and expands your experience of the world around you.
If you join the fun on Saturday, you will only see a few individual pieces of art, but you’re likely to notice aspects of each you wouldn’t on another day, in another way. If you happen to live in the Triangle region of North Carolina, the Ackland Art Museum at UNC-Chapel Hill is participating. Sign up here:
If you don't happen to live near the Ackland, you can always arrange your own outing with friends. The North Carolina Museum of Art and the Nasher have great collections and restaurants too.