Shannon Thiesen of Abbotsford is shown with the painting she completed in the final round of the Provincial Art Battle in Vancouver in 2017, when she advanced to the nationals. A Fraser Valley Art Battle takes place Friday, Jan. 18 at the Abbotsford Arts Centre. (Photo by MaxPaq Photography)

Fraser Valley artists to compete in timed Art Battle

Painters have 20 minutes to create piece at Abbotsford event on Jan. 18

The Abbotsford Arts Council (AAC) is bringing back the international Art Battle competition to the Fraser Valley.

The event takes place Friday, Jan. 18 at the Abbotsford Arts Centre, 2329 Crescent Way, starting at 6:30 p.m.

The creative competition has been operating in the UK, Italy, New Zealand, Japan and the Netherlands, with more than 650 events in Canada since 2009.

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 when they cast their ballots to decide which of the two painters from that heat will advance to the evening’s finals.

RELATED: Abbotsford art teacher wins provincial contest

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Four painters compete in the final round, and the ultimate winner is eligible to join the regional Vancouver Art Battle in early summer.

The winner of that competition is then afforded a chance to compete in Toronto’s National Art Battle competition on June 26.

Fraser Valley Music Awards electronic category winner, Mission’s dj elixir, will be playing music at the local Art Battle.

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

“We are so excited to host this event and connect thrill-seeking artists and spectators alike,” says Jennifer Trithardt-Tufts, newly minted AAC executive director.

“We hope this competitive and fun event will showcase the playful side of painting and get people excited about local art in Abbotsford.”

In 2016 and ’17, Abbotsford teacher Shannon Thiesen advanced to the national Art Battle after winning both the local and provincial events.

Admission is $15 for students and $20 for general. This is a licensed event.

Search “Art Battle Abbotsford” on Facebook for more information or to purchase tickets.

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