Art battle brewing

All it takes is 20 minutes to create a painting.

That's the premise for Art Battle Prince George where 12 artists take up the challenge to make a complete piece of artwork under the hot lights in the main branch of the Prince George Public Library on Friday, March 6 at 7 p.m.

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Each spectator to the live competitive painting challenge gets to vote for their favourite.

There are three preliminary rounds with the artists moving into the final round by popular vote.

The wild card sees the artist with the most second place votes earning a spot in the final round as well.

The dozen artists competing in this year's event hosted by the Prince George & District Community Arts Council are Carla Joseph, Karen Erickson, Michael Kast, Harshpreet Kaur, Viv Fox, Emily Holmes, Erin Stagg, Ekaterina Filatov, Mandy Paavola, Audrey McKinnon, Sebastian Nicholson and Jennifer Pighin.

"A lot of the artists have competed before but there are some new ones in the group, too," Lisa Redpath, program manager for the Community Arts Council, said. "The artists love the energy during the live event and really, it's a challenge for local artists. It's so amazing to see what can be developed and where their minds go."

There is no theme for the event and each artist has to do their research to see what images are trending right now because they need to inspire votes from the audience, Redpath added.

"So the artists have to capture that emotion and draw that voter into their piece," she said. "This is our seventh annual and I have seen some remarkable things done at the last minute that were heart-stopping."

There are particular elements that are added into the competition.

"The music is absolutely thumping, the lights are hot, and the stress level rises when the audience is at their backs because we let them get fairly close to create that remarkable energy and the audience starts to circle the artists during that 20 minutes so they can see all the art in the making," Redpath said.

Everyone is asked to vote at the end of each round.

"Everyone takes it extremely seriously," Redpath said. "People are not there to vote for their friend. They vote for their favourite painting regardless of who has painted it. We've seen that over and over again since the beginning."

All paintings are auctioned off to audience members.

The artist that wins the local Art Battle goes to the regional competition that is held in Vancouver in July to battle against the best in the province. 

 

Tickets are $15 at artbattle.ca or at Studio 2880 - 15th Ave., home of the Community Arts Council.

 

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