Northern Lights Gallery, located on Main Street in Melfort is bringing Slow Art Day to the community on Saturday, April 10. The worldwide event is coming to Melfort for the first time as a chance to appreciate the art that is made in the area. According to gallery owner Sandra Dancey, in the times we are in, an event like this is beneficial.
This is the eleventh year for the event internationally. It’s designed as a day to slow down and appreciate art.
“It makes more sense than ever now given the current circumstances globally speaking that everyone is isolated,” Dancey said.
“Get out and go see art, and you don’t even have to go indoors if you don’t want to. But there are events all over the world and the point of this, the message is slow down and actually look at and appreciate art,” Dancey said.
The five artists contributing works include Monica Whenham-Daschuk, Linsey Levendall, Beth Bentz, Jim Mason and Al Jardine.
“These are all incredibly talented artists and they all live in this part of the world and that’s what is so nice about it. You can promote artists from all over the planet but I like to promote people from this neighbourhood,” she said.
She described the area as deep in talent in the visual arts. Slow Art Day will be from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on April 10 and everyone is encouraged to come to the gallery and view the work of the five artists taking part.
Dancey described the concept as relaxed and basic. Come down to the gallery, wearing a mask and if you don’t want to come in you can look through the window.
“But because it is going on all day it will be very low key and you can just wander through and look at the art. It’s limited to just five artists and just one piece each. I think Beth Bentz might have a collective of three small pieces that basically represents one.
“The point is to actually look at a piece, not just glance and walk by, not pull out your phone and take a picture of it but stand there and look at it and try to fully appreciate what the artist is doing, what message they are getting across, what you can find in it,” Dancey said.
“We are of an age of everyone moves really fast and snaps a picture with their phone and keeps moving. And this is to encourage you to not do that, to just actually stand there and look at it. And that is why it is good if you bring a friend with you, you can look at it together and discuss it. You can discuss it there in the gallery or you can go somewhere else for a cup of coffee afterwards and talk about it there,” she explained.
According to Dancey, there is no common thread or theme among the five pieces and you can choose to look however few or many you want. Some work will have a writeup by the artist, some will have questions from the artist to start a conversation about the piece.
“Pick a piece or two and really truly look at them and you can decide which one you like the best that way and beyond that no obligation. We just want you to actually appreciate the fact that everyone is surrounded by art, it’s everywhere and especially in the case now of when people aren’t inside so much they are outdoors and you are starting to notice more things like murals,” Dancey said.
She gave an example of seeing art everywhere like on trains as you are stopped by them.
“It’s things like that that force you to actually stop and look at the art and then you start to appreciate it,” Dancey said.
People are also encouraged to make a day out of it as there is also a show at the Sherven-Smith Art Gallery in the Kerry Vickar Centre. The Melfort Arts Council and OSAC are hosting the display Accidental Utopia by Sylvia Ziemann from April 1 to 23.
“I’m encouraging people to tie it all together. A nice way to get out and appreciate art around town not just in my shop but at the Sherven-Smith Gallery as well,” Dancey said.
For more information Dancey, encourages people to look up Slow Art Day on the internet.