Art Battle returns to Red Deer this weekend

  • Jan. 7, 2015 5:20 p.m.

Artists and art fans will gather this week at the Scott Block Theatre for another round of Art Battle, a fast-paced, competitive national painting experience.

Each month a host of cities across Canada challenge artists to work within a 20-minute space and create a piece that is then judged against the others. On Jan. 9th, doors will open at 7 p.m. with art starting at 8 p.m. Tickets are $25 and can be purchased on or at the doors.

“These events are accessible to people and are bringing in a younger generation of artists. There are some other art shows and art events but I think they play to a different crowd. Art Battle brings it to reality that anybody can be an artist,” said Desiree Marshall, one of the local organizers for the events.

“These events show that people can express themselves through art in more than a calm, behind-the-scenes way. Art battles are intense – I don’t even paint and I feel nervous for the artists because the battles are only 20 minutes and you can feel the intensity.”

Art Battle is a Canadian organization that began a few years ago and now holds events from Prince George to Vancouver.

Audiences vote for winners of the battles across three rounds of public painting. There are winners of each round and then a single event winner. At the end of each ‘battle season’ there is a national competition with competitors representing a multitude of Canadian cities.

“So far there are a lot of the same people, but we’re definitely getting some new people interested in trying. The last art battle, there were some people with a high, high level of art skills and then there were people who were not at that same level, but still really enjoyed the challenge of finishing that piece,” said Marshall.

“I think that it’s encouraging people to try, even if they might not think they are up to it. What’s nice about 20 minutes is that you don’t have to feel like it has to be a perfect picture, because you only have so little time. Your piece of art may not be amazing to one person, but to someone else it is.”

Marshall describes the events as intense and exciting. She said that even spectators can feel like they’re involved because they are so close to the action, and the atmosphere is full of energy.

“We do this so that everyone feels like they can take part. You can be anyone and you can come and watch or you could be anyone and come and paint. People should definitely know that if they are a struggling artist, there are so many resources in and around Red Deer that can provide comfort for them. If they want to try to put themselves out there, even if it’s not through art battle, there are resources available through our team and through Art Battle.”