Welcome to Off the Wall. We’ve skimmed the news around the museum, and want to share the highlights with you.
Written while scanning the news for tornado warnings.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
“It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.” –Henry David Thoreau
SLOW AND STEADY WON THE RACE
What is this ‘Slow Art Day,’ you ask? It’s NOT a day of the year where almost nobody comes to the museum, leading us to refer to it as a slow day at the museum, i.e., a slow art day. (This is what I thought it was when first told about it.) Actually, it’s pretty simple. People tend to rush through art museums, not slowing down to take in what they’re looking at. Now, we’re all about skimming, obviously, but when it comes to art, the longer you look at a work, the more you really get out of it. It’s like when you watch a movie for the second time and realize that you completely mischaracterized the protagonist because you didn’t catch that one subtle plot twist at 1:19:11. You appreciated the movie the first time through, but it wasn’t until you slowed down and really thought about it that you fully grasped what the director was trying to tell you. Our brains can only take in so much, so fast. Slow Art Day is all about letting you narrow the number of works you’ll be looking at, and lengthen the time you’ll be looking at them.
WHEN CAN WE DO SLOW ART DAY?
Honestly, you can look at art slowly any time at all–in fact, we highly recommend this. However, research shows that people like doing things more when it’s categorized into an ‘event.’ (For example: do you want to stand around awkwardly with someone else’s extended family and eat anatomically correct cake while guessing how big around your emotionally unstable coworker is? Pass. But do you want to go to your friend’s baby shower? Of course!) Because of this, the world was kind enough to give us an entire day out of the year to devote to carefully contemplating art. It’s called Slow Art Day, and it’s happening at the Fred Jones on April 11.
DO WE HAVE TO LOOK AT ALL THE ART SLOWLY?
No. Slow Art Day is meant to narrow down the works you’re looking at, so that you have time to examine them. At ours, we’ll be focusing on the Beyond the Battlefield exhibition. This exhibition isn’t going to be up much longer, so it’s a great opportunity to really soak it in while you have the opportunity.
THE SHORT VERSION:
Come see us at 10:30 a.m. on April 11. Get an iBook from the front desk–it has lots of information about the art and music that corresponds with the exhibition. At 11:30, OU School of Music graduate student Joe Rebman (he created the iBook tour you’ll enjoy) will join us for an informal discussion. It’s free, it’s open to everyone–no need for tickets or reservations. We just want you to come turtle through the museum and really appreciate art for a little while. 10/10 say it will be even more enjoyable than your cousin’s baby shower.
REPEAT AFTER ME…
WHAT TO SAY WHEN YOU SEE AN UNEXPECTED UFO:
We’re not alone. The Fred Jones isn’t alone in Slow Art Day, either. Hundreds of museums across the country are having similar events on April 11, celebrating the contemplative consideration of art. The event started in 2008 with just one museum. Then, in 2009, they tested it with multiple participants. This will be the first year for the FJJMA to participate! There are all sorts of museums helping out with slow art day–and if you’re reading this from somewhere far away from the FJJMA, you should check out this list to see if a museum near you is participating!
THINGS TO KNOW
FREDtalks: Like TEDtalks, but better; because they’re here. The next FREDtalks program will take place Thursday, April 16 at 5:30 p.m. In response to Slow Art Day, three speakers will tell us all the benefits of taking a slower, more contemplative approach in museums. Featured on the panel will be: David McLeod, Assistant Professor in OU’s Anne and Henry Zarrow School of Social Work; Alan Atkinson, Art Historian; Joe Rebman, Graduate Student in OU’s School of Music. AFTERWARD THERE WILL BE SOME SNACKS. Also it’s free. Go to this link and let Facebook know that you’re going so you can brag to your Facebook Frenemies about going to a fancy art thing. Also SpellCheck recognizes ‘frenemies’ as a word, so I think we’re all done here.
artists born several years ago this week:
4/6 Gustave Moreau, John William Waterhouse, Raphael, Rene Lalique | 4/7 Brett Whiteley, Gerrit Dou, Gino Severini | 4/8 Alfred Cheney Johnston, Clarence Hudson White, Cornelis de Heem | 4/9 Eadweard Muybridge, Victor Vasarely | 4/10 Kenneth Noland, Ben Nicholson | 4/11 Gustav Vigeland, Jean-Baptist Isabey | 4/12 Robert Delaunay, William Pellicone