Local artist Lisa Joan Gooding works on her first-round painting during Art Battle Friday night at the Willow Point Hall. The event featured 14 local artists competing for votes to see who would go on to represent Campbell River in Victoria. Gooding would make it through to the finals, but Jill Paris Rody would take the title after all was said and done. Photo by Mike Davies/Campbell River Mirror

Competitive painting: a new way to experience art

Campbell River Art Battle gets Willow Point Hall hopping with artistic enthusiasm

Art fans flooded the Willow Point Hall on Friday night to watch the first ever competitive painting event held in Campbell River.

Art Battle is a world-wide competition that sees local artists from their respective communities create paintings in 20 minutes while being cheered on by crowds of onlookers, who then vote for their favourite. The winners move on to subsequent rounds, with the winner at the end of the night moving on – in this case to the regional finals being held in Victoria.

The Campbell River event featured 14 local artists: Lisa Joan Gooding, Roy Randell, Tatjana Cuncu, Dayna Downey, Marianna LaViolette, Alex Witcombe, Zen Baer, Cheryl Neurauter, Emily Reincarnate, Karen Ware, Alyssa Penner, Laura Furness, Brad Hanthorn and Jill Paris Rody.

Baer and Downey moved on to Friday night’s finals from the first round of seven artists. Paris Rody and Gooding moved on from round two. The four competitors then painted a second work, with Paris Rody coming out on top when all the votes were tallied at the end of the night.

The works produced Friday were auctioned off to the crowd, with the artists receiving half and the other half going to the organizers to cover expenses.

The atmosphere in the room was electric and vibrant, MC Benny McGrath kept the music pumping and the crowd moving all night and great fun was had by all.

Three members of city council were in attendance at the event, including Coun. Charlie Cornfield, who served as auctioneer at the end of the night.

“It was a whole lot of fun,” Cornfield said at Monday’s council meeting. “The mood in the room was amazing. There were all kinds of new faces there and there was such an upbeat atitude,” he said, calling the night “a great success in promoting art and artists.”

Coun. Colleen Evans agrees.

“What was exciting about it was the diversity of the crowd in the room,” Evans said Monday night at council. “Often times, these art events attract a certain demographic, but at that event there were young people and older individuals. It’s just great to see the energy around art these days.”

Mayor Andy Adams, while not in attendance at the event in question, echoed Evans’ thoughts on the state of arts in Campbell River right now.

Adams pointed to the inaugural Painter’s Lodge Winter Wonderland Art and Artisan Show held in December, “and you see Arts Fest in July and see how it’s expanded, it really shows how we are evolving to incorporate arts and culture in our community.”

For more information about Art Battle, check out artbattle.com