Artists face off at battle

Top artists from around the Boundary are expected to battle it out at gallery 2 to find out who is the best.

Top artists from around the Boundary are expected to battle it out at gallery 2 to find out who is the best. The competition is called Art Battle and it goes down May 9 at the gallery.

In the competition, 12 local artists will do the best work they can do in 20 minutes and the audience votes for their favourite.

“We are a nation-wide live arts event,” said organizer Shannon Frederick. “There are local organizers all across the country. We all link up for our national championship at the end of the art battle season.

Frederick says there are art battles going on across Canada going on from September to June. In June, the art battle winners will be brought together for a provincial competition in Vancouver. The winners there will compete at the national competition.

Frederick said the event has become popular on the Lower Mainland with several events in Vancouver and in Victoria. She said there have also been events in Chilliwack, Kelowna and Penticton.

“There are three rounds and each round is 20 minutes long,” said Frederick. “Events have 10 or 12 local artists broken up into two different groups. The first group features the first six artists. The artists paint in front of the audience who vote for their favourite painting. We then have the second round of painters. They paint and the audience votes.”

The third round is the final featuring the winners of the first two rounds facing up.

“Again, they have 20 minutes to paint and the audience votes and determines the winner of the night,” said Frederick.

Frederick said the competition is free for the artists, although they do have to apply online with a sample image of their work. “We supply the canvas and the paint for our competitors,” she said. “It’s up to the painters to provide their own brushes, tools, implements to paint with. The only rule is nothing mechanical. So no spray bottles, no airbrushes, no fans. That kind of thing.”

Frederick said the time limit adds a different element to the painting. “Paintings usually take hours and hours,” she said. “Also, artists don’t paint in front of people. So this really takes the painters out of their comfort zone but it’s a real adrenal rush. It’s a lot of fun. Everyone is really encouraging each other. It really helps bring the community together around art.”

Frederick said the art battle really allows the spectators to see what an artist goes through while painting and be much more appreciative.

All the works that have been created will be available at the end of the night through a silent auction.

“Most often all the works sell and Art Battle splits the money 50/50 with the artist,” said Frederick. “So the artist walks home with a little money in their pocket which is pretty nice.”

Tickets for the event are available on their website at  HYPERLINK “http://www.artbattle.ca/276-grandforks/” www.artbattle.ca/276-grandforks/

Frederick said there are only a limited amount of tickets and she urges people to get their tickets in advance to avoid disappointment.

There are a few painters already signed up but anyone wishing to enter can still do so by going to the same website.