With paints and brushes flying and curious spectators circling, the Rec Room at the Avalon Mall in St. John’s played host to a frenzied and friendly competition on February 6.
Art Battle is a live painting competition where artists race against the clock, and each other, to transform a blank canvas into an original piece of artwork. It was created in New York City in 2001 when members of the public gathered to watch as six artists worked to create a piece each in one, 90-minute round. In 2009, the Art Battle Tournament was born in Toronto with 12 artists competing in a one-night event composed of three, 20-minute rounds. Art Battle has since spread to 50 cities around the world.
According to the Art Battle website, Art Battle was a response “to the tension of competition and the frustration of gatekeeping – a way for artists to come together, bringing the competition to the surface, and allowing the people to decide their champions.”
The creative energy and camaraderie was on full display at the Rec Room as local artists worked to transform their canvasses while their supporters, and spectators, watched the creative process unfold. Don-E Coady MC’d the event, while DJ Slim Macho provided the soundtrack for the evening.
Following original Art Battle Tournament Rules, the event was organized into three, 20-minute blocks, with the audience voting for their favourite artist at the end of reach round. Four and five artists competed in rounds one and two respectively, while the two winners faced off against each other in the final round. At the end of the event, the Art Battle website hosted a silent auction, giving audience members the chance to purchase their favourite piece.
In the end, artist Lauren Noftle won the overall competition, giving her the chance to move on to the national tournament. From local events through four levels of national and international competition, artists have the opportunity to win all the way to the World Championships, with the next taking place in Tokyo, Japan in October 2020.
The next local Art Battle will take place at the Rec Room on March 12. Click here for more information.