Speed painting

Kingston artists paint to beat the clock

One art battle contestant paints under pressure.
One art battle contestant paints under pressure.
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Live competitive painting, alcohol and a jubilant audience made for a spirited atmosphere at yesterday’s Art Battle in Kingston.

Art Battle is live competitive painting, hosted multiple times over the year throughout Canada. Painters, who must apply to compete, paint standing in a circle in the middle of a room and work to create their best work possible in only 20 minutes.

Audience members and patrons walk around them slowly to observe the artists in their most concentrated states while under the pressure of such a short time limit.

The event shed a unique light on Kingston’s many talented artists by showcasing not only the finished product of their work, but the gruelling process it took to get there.

Over 50 people gathered at the Renaissance Event Venue on Queen St. to watch and vote for their favourite painting during the rounds.

The winning painters of each round compete against other in a final round, from which one finalist comes out as the ultimate winner of the whole battle. This winner gets a cash prize and a spot in the Kingston final.

Audience members were thoroughly enjoying themselves, mingling with one another while marvelling at the art being created in front of their very eyes.

Among all the impressive talent at the venue were artists Ashlee Earle, Phillip Silver, Paul Pavolyn, Amanda Hamilton, Christian Wolf, Joanne Gervais and more.

One audience member, Queen’s psychology professor Ada Mullett, expressed her fondness for the competition.

“I love art battle. It’s my third or fourth time coming — I even competed as a wild card last year,” she said. “I love seeing art come to life, and seeing all of these moments of excellence. Even though artists are performing under duress, it’s amazing what [they] can create in so little time.” The process is somewhat magical to watch, the professor added.

Rachel Chapman, an event volunteer, thought the competition displayed Kingston residents’ amazing artistry.

“We have so many talented artists [in Kingston],” Chapman said. “Since this is a small town you don’t really hear from them, and I think that it’s a great way for everyone to get the art community together and see each other’s work.”

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