How to ArtPrize, Mindfully

September 21, 2017 | Updated September 6, 2018

With ArtPrize upon us and so much to see and enjoy, we wanted to put together a quick informative guide on how to appreciate art mindfully. Using deep, diaphragmatic breathing – a key part of biofeedback – you can get even more out of ArtPrize this year.

STEP 1: SLOW DOWN

First of all, slow down. This is one of those things that’s usually easier said than done but, if you can, visit the art venues when you’re not on a tight schedule.

Feeling rushed will hinder your entire experience; you’ll be thinking of the places you need to go once you leave and any errands you need to run before you get there. Going in distracted will prevent you from taking in the artwork fully.

If you only have an hour to spend at ArtPrize, find a smaller venue and stay there. Let yourself move slowly and enjoy having nowhere else to be, even if it’s just for an hour.

STEP 2: BREATHE

Once you’re in the right state of mind and have found a piece of art that intrigues you, try focusing on your breathing. Think of viewing this piece as a mini meditation: close your eyes, take a deep breath in through your nose and out through your mouth, notice where you’re carrying any muscle tension and relax those areas.

Continue the deep breathing and when you’re ready, open your eyes. Continue this breathing as you look at the art and start to take note of what you see (colors, objects, people).

Gradually move from simply noting aspects of the art, to noticing their relationship to each other – is it light in one area and dark in another? Are elements spaced out or close together? Does the piece make you feel any certain way? Mindful breathing can help you view and appreciate art on a deeper level.

STEP 3: CONNECT

Mentally noting relationships within a piece of art is a quick way to get your mind critically thinking about the work in front of you. The deep, diaphragmatic (or meditative) breathing will help you see the relationships.

The benefit to slowing down both physically and mentally lies in the changes that naturally occur in your body. By taking in deeper, better-quality breaths, you’re allowing more oxygen to travel through your bloodstream.

This can help improve circulation, slow down heart rate, and increase oxygen levels in the brain. When in this semi-meditative, optimal-blood-flowing state, you’re more likely to feel like you’re “in the zone.”

When this happens, your attention to detail can be heightened, as well as your ability to focus, both of which are sure to improve your overall art-viewing experience.

With these tips in mind, go check out ArtPrize this year and see what you find – you might discover a new hobby in the process. To find out more about how biofeedback techniques like these can help you, give us a call or find us on Facebook for more information.