Art Battle - Matt Love photography

Foam fingers and flying paint all a part of Art Battle

On Feb. 10, a dozen Victoria artists will go into battle

  • Jan. 26, 2023 7:30 a.m.

On Feb. 10, a dozen Victoria artists will go into battle.

When one thinks of art and the thoughtful, creative process that one might envision by its creation, it rarely evokes thoughts of fierce competition, cheering fans and the declaration of winners.

But what happens when you meld art with the raucous environment of professional sport? You get a live, competitive painting competition known as Art Battle.

The first Art Battle was created in 2001 in New York City. The concept pitted artists against one another in a one-night creative tournament of three 20-minute rounds. Winners were decided by a cheering audience with those talented artists later advancing to national and international competitions.

The goal was to compete in an annual world championship, gaining fame, fortune, and fans along the way.

It’s been 21 years since that first Art Battle but it’s still going strong, with hundreds of events now happening around the world.

Victoria’s opportunity to become part of it all as the paint starts to fly is just around the corner and excitement is building.

On Feb. 10 at 6 p.m., 12 artists will square off in three rounds of competition and one champion will be declared. At the end of the round the audience votes for their favourite painting and can bid in a silent auction to take the work home.

Art Battle will take place at Victoria Event Centre, 1415 Broad Street, where the artists will compete live with open materials to create their masterpieces.

Spectators are welcome to cheer on their favourite artistic genius, although there’s actually been no word on whether foam fingers and face painting are encouraged.

Tickets for the event are available starting on January 13 at or through the VEC website. Pending availability, tickets may also be available at the door.

Artists interested in competing in the event or future ones can check for opportunities at

We know that the Mona Lisa took da Vinci some 16 years to finish and some purists may doubt the 20-minute Art Battle rounds. But who, after all, can predict when the next Warhol, Haring or Basquiat will be found or how that genius will be discovered? This may be the chance to witness that discovery.