Slow Viewing, created and hosted by artist and MFA student Shauna Smith, heads into its fourth year of art pondering, idea sharing, and finding a more mellow pace in the Missouri State Galleries and Springfield Art Museum. The program began in 2019, and since then numerous groups of students and community members have had the chance to view art through a fresh perspective and experience a truly special form of social connection.
Shauna shares her thoughts on leading Slow Viewing and reflects on the significance of the program’s social impact:
There are several dynamics that make Slow Viewing a unique and meaningful experience. At the forefront, Slow Viewing is a safe space for people to practice their interpretive skills. It is also an hour dedicated to slowing down, acting as an antithesis to modern-day pacing. However, what I have come to realize after four years of facilitating this program is that, at its core, Slow Viewing is about community building. The real meaning-making happening in the room is between the people in conversation. Slow Viewing uses the relative safety of a gallery space and artwork to build connections between people, all of which works toward a bigger goal of building communal trust and a sense of place.
Upcoming Slow Viewings will concentrate on artwork featured in the collaborative exhibition, Collected Memories and Rooted Objects. There are two scheduled dates for the Spring 2022 semester:
- Kerry Phillips’ work in Brick City Gallery, East, March 9, 4:30-5:30 PM
- Leticia Bajuyo’s work in Carolla Arts Exhibition Center, March 30, 4:30-5:30 PM
More opportunities for Slow Viewing will be offered this summer at the Missouri State University Galleries and at the Springfield Art Museum, so look for announcements of future dates soon. Hear more about Slow Viewing on the RCOAL Conversations podcast.
Carolla Arts Exhibition Center is located at 326 N. Boonville Ave, Springfield, Missouri, and the Brick City Galleries are located at 215 W. Mill Street, Springfield, MO 65806. Gallery hours are Monday–Friday 11 AM–6 PM and Saturday 12 PM–4 PM. Call 417-837-2330 for additional details. Masking is no longer required but is encouraged in the University Galleries.
Taylor Ladd is a graduate assistant for the Department of Art + Design. She is working towards her master’s degree in writing at Missouri State University with professional interests in writing about art, culture, and food.