April 27, 2013: A day to look at art… slowly | By Tori McNish

Have you ever taken the time to stop and look at a piece of art for ten minutes? Unless you consciously decided to, it is probably pretty unlikely – the average viewer spends only 8 seconds. After having an epiphany about the benefits of taking your time when looking at art in 2008, Phil Terry started a grassroots movement dedicated to looking… slowly.

Slow Art Day has now grown into a hugely successful, totally volunteer-driven event since its official launch in 2010. This year, there are over 240* venues around the world hosting Slow Art Day, including, for the first time ever, one in Edmonton.

The premise of the event is simple. On April 27, 2013 interested parties will meet their host volunteers at the proscribed venue and look at art – slowly. Within the two hour visitation slot (generally, 11 am – 1 pm), participants are asked to look at 5 pieces of art for ten minutes each. The group then goes for lunch from approximately 1-2 pm and talks about their experiences. “Simple by design, the goal is to focus on the art and the art of seeing.”

This year, PrairieSeen will be hosting Edmonton’s very first Slow Art Day event at the Society of Northern Alberta Print-artists (SNAP) Gallery and Printshop. PrairieSeen is a “duo of Edmonton-based art advocates who recognize and respond to the value of local art and what it has to say” that consists of my partner, Chelsey, and I. We hope to create a critical discourse about art in Edmonton through our blog, as well as by hosting events, like Slow Art Day: Edmonton.

At SNAP, we will be looking at the work of Peter Kingstone and Daryl Vocat in their current exhibit, called Sissies and Psychopaths, as well as that of Jennifer Konanz in her exhibit, titled Wonder Wrap Inc.: We Live in a Packaged World. Participants will also be invited to view work in the SNAP Printshop exhibition, Gravity and Flight, featuring work from the University of Alberta Graduating Printmaking Class, as well as to observe the open studio – so make sure to come early! Lunch will be had after our visit to the gallery at the Urban Diner on High Street. SNAP Gallery has no admission fee, but gladly accepts donations; participants will be required to pay for their own lunch.

If you think you might be interested in this event, make sure to check out our event pages on Facebook and Eventbrite. If you are hesitant, come anyways! This event is open to all types of art lovers and enthusiasts – even if you aren’t one. No one will be forced to share their experiences in our lunch discussion either; this isn’t a class or any other kind of formal event. So try us out! Sign up now and practice looking… slowly.

*at time of publication. More are being added every day!

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