Slow Art Day encourages Valley residents to stop, appreciate art

The Phoenix Art Museum was one of more than 238 international locations that took part in Slow Art Day on Saturday.

Participants at the Phoenix Art Museum carried stools with them throughout multiple exhibits of the museum. They analyzed five different pieces of art, spending 20 minutes observing each one, and conversed about different discoveries in each piece.

This extended the amount of time spent looking at art on Slow Art Day, beating the average time spent observing pieces by about 19 minutes and 55 seconds. The average time a person spends analyzing art is about four to five seconds, but the idea behind Slow Art Day is to change that.



According to, when people take more time to look at art they are able to discover more.

Christian Adame, the assistant curator for education at the museum, said, “The idea is that (Slow Art Day) just happens on the same day everywhere around the world.”

Slow Art Day 2014 venues not only included cities all over America, but cities in Ireland, Australia, Rome, Italy, Switzerland, Ghana, the United Kingdom and Canada.

This global initiative to slow down and take time to appreciate art was created in 2008 by Phil Terry, an entrepreneur and author in New York. While it's still a newer idea, between 2010 and this year's event the amount of participating venues increased from 55 to 238.

“It’s constantly growing. Slow Art is in it’s sixth year now,” Adame said. “I’m sure we’ll get to 500 within the next few years.”

Jenifer Bennett, a concierge at The Boulders in Scottsdale, said she didn’t have any expectations going into the tour.

“It’s almost like digging deep into the time that you do have and trying to make that as enriching as possible,” Bennett said.

Participants at the Phoenix Art Museum had the option to eat lunch after to further discuss observations and discoveries they made throughout the tour.

“We basically want to slow people down,” Adame said. “The joy of this is just so simple.”

Because of the mentality behind Slow Art Day, Adame also recommended not trying to see the entirety of a museum in one day.

“If you take off a little chunk each time you go, you’re going to have a much more enjoyable experience, and you’re going to want to come back,” Adame said. “It’s much more manageable.”

According to, the next Slow Art Day will be held on April 11, 2015.

Reach the reporter at or follow her on Twitter @danikernkamp

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