This Saturday, April 16 is Slow Art Day 2011. A worldwide art movement that encourages people to slow down when looking at art, the annual event was started by Phil Terry in the summer of 2009,
with the hope of changing the “8-second rule” – i.e. the widely reported statistic that when visiting a museum most people spend only about 8 seconds at each piece of art. And, then leave the museum tired, not inspired.
What would happen if visitors were instructed to spend 5 or 10 minutes looking at only 5 or 10 total pieces of art? Would this make it possible to share the secret that art experts, curators, educators, artists and others know: that if you look slowly, your experience will be transformed?
The year, several Nippertown cities are participating in this quality-over-quantity event. Here’s the plan for For Slow Art Day in Albany:
You’re invited to start at the NYS Museum at Empire State Plaza. Slow down and view the work of Frank C. Eckmair. His woodcut print exhibition is in the rear of the main lobby. Eckmair is a master of negative/positive space, a concept that is absolutely essential in printmaking, especially woodcut, lino cut, and intaglio (etching) because one is working ‘backwards’ in these media. The focus will be on four works, “Front Porch,” “Tomorrow for 30 Years,” “Abandoned” and “My Father Wanted Me to be an Engineer.”
From the Museum, head up Madison to Lark Street and stop at Upstate Artists Guild, where you can slow down and view the portrait and figure work of Samuray Akarvardar in the backroom with an emphasis on the figures on the left wall as you enter.
Finally head over to the Iron Gate Cafe on Washington Avenue to meet up with other participants, have lunch and discuss the works with other Slow Art Day participants and hosts George Guarino, Sam Bowser and Kevin Kuhne.
Art Viewing: 11:00am-1pm
Lunch: 1:00pm -2.00pm
Gallery admissions for the NYS Museum and UAG are FREE; you’ll buy only what you want to eat or drink while you discuss your experience.
Here are some other local Slow Art Day celebrations. (Note that if there’s an entrance fee at the museum/gallery, you pay your own admission. And you pay for your own lunch):
Glens Falls Slow Art Day is at the The Hyde Collection with lunch at the Rockhill Bakehouse Cafe
North Adams Slow Art Day is at MASS MoCA with lunch at Lickety Split
Utica Slow Art Day is at the Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute Museum of Art with lunch at Tramontane Cafe.