It was a battle of the brushes at Five Points Theatre on Saturday night.
The first-ever Art Battle event in Barrie took place over the weekend, and event organizers say that if all goes well it could very well become a regular event, which would put the city on the map in the international competition.
“This is the first time we’ve done it in Barrie,” said organizer Sanjay Patel. “We’re really excited because this is a great venue for this. It has a good atmosphere.”
Patel and Trisha Smith are the organizers of the event, planning Art Battle events across Ontario, Canada, into the U.S. and Europe. The two hail from Toronto, but now live in Hamilton. The event was sponsored by Winescape.
Art Battle is a live painting competition that’s been going on for nine years, with winners from each city going on to semi-final and final competitions where cities compete against each other.
Artists get 20 minutes to create a painting and there are three rounds. Winners from the first two rounds go on to compete in the third with a final winner crowned by audience vote.
“Whoever wins tonight will get a spot at the regional finals, representing Barrie,” said Patel.
At the end of the battle, paintings are sold in a silent auction. Half of the proceeds from the sales goes to the artist, while the other half goes to local community art program grants.
“There are a lot of cities that are interested in doing events like this that can be a stepping stone to the arts scene,” said Patel. “You get to see the process of how the artwork is created. We’re trying to connect people with artwork that they enjoy and want to take home with them.”
“It would be great to have the Barrie event turn into one that gets a full season,” he added. “Really, what it comes down to, is finding the right partners in the area.”
The winner of the Art Battle was Enrique Bravo, who will now move on to represent Barrie at the semi-finals.
For more information on Art Battle, click here.