Lyle Johnson was among the competitors at the first Abbotsford Art Battle of 2019, held in January at the Abbotsford Arts Centre. John Morrow/Abbotsford News

Artists have 20 minutes to complete painting in Art Battle

Arts Council holds event March 21 at Abbotsford Arts Centre

The Abbotsford Arts Council (AAC) is hosting the second Abbotsford Art Battle of 2019 on Thursday, March 21 at the Abbotsford Arts Centre (2329 Crescent Way).

This fast-paced event is not only exhilarating for the competitors but also for the spectators.

The format is relatively simple: 12 painters arrive that evening prepared to paint in one of two heats of six at a time, for 20 minutes, on a blank canvas with paints that are provided by the hosts.

The contestants bring their own brushes, and once the countdown from 20 minutes begins, attendees rotate slowly around the six painters, watching their creations unfold in front of them, until the announcement comes that time is up.

The attendees then have a brief voting period where they cast their ballots to decide which of the two painters from that heat advance to the evening’s finals.

RELATED: Abbotsford art teacher wins provincial contest

The second heat works the same way, and the four finalists then compete in the final round.

The ultimate winner is eligible to join the regional Vancouver Art Battle in early summer. The winner of that competition earns a chance to compete in Toronto’s National Art Battle competition on June 26.

The musical entertainment for the Abbotsford event is sponsored by the Fraser Valley Music Awards.

This isn’t the first time Art Battle has come to the Fraser Valley, as the AAC and CIVL teamed up with MODA Events to bring a series of battles to Abbotsford and Chilliwack from 2014 to 2016.

The event returned in January of this year, when artists Khan Shameem won a chance to compete in the Vancouver Art Battle.

“We hope this competitive and fun event will showcase the playful side of painting and get people excited about local art in Abbotsford,” said Jennifer Trithardt-Tufts, AAC executive director.

Doors open at 6:30 p.m., and the painting starts at 7:30 p.m. The event includes a cash bar and a small concession.

Admission is $15 for students and $20 general. Tickets and details are available at eventbrite.ca and Facebook under “Abbotsford Art Battle 786.”

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