Slow Art Inspiration – Reflections on quick judgments

Here’s a little slow art inspiration. My 16-year-old daughter, wrote this essay—couple of days ago—pure coincidence, she knew nothing about slow art. 
– Amelia Bellows, Slow Art Stanford host

“Reflections on quick judgments”
Oona Gleeson, 16 years old
10/1/2009

Whether we like it or not, we all judge things. It may be an event,  a person, an object, a quality. Every single day, in our minds, we  make up judgments based on little knowledge. Sometimes, we need to  just pause- and look around us. Who are we to judge anyone but  ourselves?

Just recently, my mother took me on a trip to New York, to see all  the modern art collections, and some colleges in the area I was  interested in. One rainy day, we saw exhibits in both the Museum of Modern Art and the Metropolitan, which is in my point of view, even  for an adult, boring after the first ten collections of art. Of  course I was interested in the art, but looking back, I realize that  I wasn’t really examining the artwork, just looking at it, and  passing, already on to the next piece of work.  So I was not happy  to find out from my mother that we would be visiting yet another art  studio in SoHo, where my mom used to make her artwork.

After around 5 minutes of strolling around the old creaky wood  floor, gazing at each piece, I became annoyed at how long my mother  would look at each piece, wondering what she was doing.  At the back, there was a collection of framed pieces of paper, with one  single splatter of different kinds of oil and ink on each one. I  whispered to my mom so that the studio owner wouldn’t hear, “Anyone  could make this! How do they call these pieces art?” My mother  pointed to the script on the side of the wall next to the  collection. The more I read it, the more I began to understand what  the artist was trying to get across. The artist was trying to show  the audience how life is not perfect, and everything has its little  stains and blemishes. He wanted the splatters to look like stains,  and each stain represented a different thing in his life.

Reading this one little paragraph literally changed the way I saw  artwork, and the rest of my life. If you don’t take time in your  life to stop and think about each piece of art, how can you expect  to understand it? Each person is trying to get a point across in  their art, and you can appreciate and recognize their talent. Every  since that rainy afternoon, I have been applying what I have learned  to not only my artwork and others artwork, but to the quick  judgments I unconsciously make about others in everyday life.
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One Response to Slow Art Inspiration – Reflections on quick judgments

  1. Jeff says:

    <p>Amelia, your daughter’s essay is wonderful. My 13 year old is considering applying to a visual arts program in one of the high schools in the area. We recently spoke to the head of the program to see what they look for in prospective students.</p><p>While they’re interested in your tech ability they are really interested in your opinion –your ideas and how you see the world. This made me, a former art prof, very happy to hear. And in order to do that you do need to slow down just a bit and linger on the subject, but most importantly the idea. We don’t do enough of this in what has become such a reactionary society. And this is why I love this project.</p>

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