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Slowing Down at the MFAH: Celebrate Slow Art Day! April 5, 2018

By Sydney Kreuzmann
Tags: gallery-interpretation, learning-and-interpretation, slow-art-day

FOR SLOW ART DAY BLOG POST ONLY - Vuillard

Edouard Vuillard, Madame Hessel at Home, c. 1908, oil on board, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, gift of Audrey Jones Beck.

Think back to your last visit to an art museum. How did you tackle the space? Was your goal to hit every single gallery, or did you focus your visit by choosing to see just one or two exhibitions? Most people view a work of art for only 6 to 10 seconds—which is not surprising given our culture of distraction and constant visual stimuli.

Slow Art Day is an opportunity to combat that fast rhythm we’ve come to associate with TV and swiping on our smartphones, allowing ourselves the time to make new discoveries. It doesn’t take an expert to bring a work of art to life—as Henry David Thoreau famously said, “It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see”—and one of the key factors to unlocking creative interpretation is in the process of slowing down the viewing experience.

Stop, Look & Share

Started in 2010, Slow Art Day is an international initiative that encourages people to visit their local museums and galleries, look at and consider works of art slowly, and then discuss their experiences. What we call “slow looking”—just spending time carefully viewing the details of a work of art—is the first step in the process, but in the powerful act of sharing your discoveries with other participants, a real sense of community and camaraderie is created!

Discover the Art of Seeing

Join us for this year’s Slow Art Day on Saturday, April 14, to practice slow looking at the MFAH! Whether you’re usually a run-through-the-galleries visitor, or you prefer a slow-down-for-one-exhibition experience, you’re invited to discover the benefits of taking your time with art, and to share your passion and creativity with other art lovers.

Slow Art Day is free with general admission, which is always free for MFAH members. Reservations are encouraged, so let us know if you plan to attend! RSVP: AEPrograms@mfah.org