Slow Art Day cultivates new audiences

"Museum Visitor" (1946), lithograph on paper, by Lawrence Beall Smith (1909-1993), from the Sweet Briar College Art Collection and Galleries.
“Museum Visitor” (1946), lithograph on paper, by Lawrence Beall Smith (1909-1993), from the Sweet Briar College Art Collection and Galleries.

Sweet Briar College will join museums across the globe to celebrate Slow Art Day from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday, April 11, in Pannell Gallery. Admission is free and open to the public. Complimentary refreshments will be provided.

Slow Art Day is based on the premise that when viewers take time to examine a work of art slowly, they “make discoveries.” That is, they are able to see and appreciate the work without “expertise” or help from experts — and that they will like it.

“It unlocks passion and creativity and helps to create more art fans,” according to the organization’s “About” page.

The event encourages folks to pause busy lives to first look at an original work of art, then sit down with friends to share what they see.

“If you can’t make it to Sweet Briar, just grab a friend and head to the nearest art museum,” Sweet Briar galleries director Karol Lawson wrote in a Facebook post promoting the event. “Slow down, look, see, think, converse, refresh. Simple.”

The current show in Pannell is “The Art of Collecting: 20th-century Highlights,” guest-curated by Lindsay Profenno ’15. The exhibited art, selected from the College’s permanent collection of more than 4,000 original works, has two focal points: images of women and abstraction. The exhibition will remain on view until May 31.

Families are welcome for Slow Art day, however children younger than 16 must be accompanied by an adult. For more information, contact Lawson at klawson@sbc.edu or (434) 381-6248.