Blanton asks guests to examine works closely

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After Aida Prazak attended Slow Art Day at the Blanton Museum of Art on Saturday, she was inspired to go home and create some artwork of her own.

“I collect vintage books at home, and I just wanted to go home and rip up my books,” said Prazak, a sociology senior.

Prazak said she fell in love with a collection of flowers painted over vintage books, which was a part of an exhibition called “desire.” For Slow Art Day, visitors to the Blanton were given a list of 10 pieces of artwork and then asked to pick a couple to spend five to 10 minutes mulling over.

Though the collection of vintage books was not on the list, visitors like Prazak said it was not unusual for them to be drawn to other works.

Slow Art Day is an international event hosted by the nonprofit Reading Odyssey with the purpose of asking adults to slow down and appreciate art. Blanton spokeswoman Kaela Hoskings said 45 cities participated from all over the world.

“Most people look at a piece of art for five, 10 seconds,” Hoskings said. “Five to 10 minutes gives you a whole different perspective.”

Those who chose to participate were handed a map with the locations of the ten pieces of artwork, two of which were highlighted, a 16th-century woodwork by Marcantonio Raimondi and a large 20th-century mixed-media painting by Vernon Fisher. Everyone was asked to look at these two works specifically and then pick others from the list as they pleased.

Hoskings made sure the 10 works she chose were spread out over the museum from different exhibits and time periods.

“I looked for things I hadn’t noticed before — nuances that could be interesting to discuss,” Hoskings said.

Visitors were then invited to purchase lunch at the Blanton Cafe across the gallery and discuss the pieces at noon. Seven guests attended the discussion that was part of the event, during which they spoke about their favorite pieces.