Ready, set, paint.
A crowd moves slowly, circling the six easels resting under spotlights in the centre of the room. Painters stand in front of their canvases moving quickly to communicate their visions.
Art Battle returned to Halifax on Friday, with 12 artists racing to paint on deadline for $100 and a chance to move on to the provincial competition.
The event happens across the globe and has been held in 62 cities. The competition at the University Club at Dalhousie University marked the fifth time it’s been held in Halifax.
Many students were in attendance. Nandhu Sridhr and Katherine Zhao heard about the event from their resident assistant.
“I have a lot of friends who are studying art, so I let them know about tonight and I’m here supporting them,” Zhao said.
Many of the painters competing in the Art Battle were students.
Two of the painters, Kris Rudic and Luisa Grottker are Nova Scotia College of Art and Design students, and Monica Sampson studies at Nova Scotia Community College.
They painted alongside accomplished artists, some of whom own their own art galleries and have won previous Art Battle titles.
There are three rounds in the competition. Each round is 20 minutes, so artists have little time to complete their piece.
The audience votes after each round for whose work they think is best. The top two artists in each of the first two rounds compete in the final round.
The overall winner was Megan Kyak-Monteith, a painter from Nunavut whose cool purple toned portraits won the night.
The voting was close as there were many different styles of art being produced.
Contemporary styles were put against cartoonist pieces. Artists had their own techniques, using spatulas or paper towel.
Artist Elizabeth MacMichael painted her face and pressed it into her canvas as a final touch.
The art created during the competition was put up for silent auction so the audience could bid on the pieces.
“These events really bring together the art community,” said Willem Martin, an art fan who came out to watch the show.
“I just like mingling with other people and discussing the art being created. Art is so personal, so it’s cool hearing other people’s opinions and seeing if they feel the same way as you regarding a certain piece,” Martin said.
Click to see more photos from the Art Battle