For the Toronto event, Art Battle, is a night for exposing artists for more than just their talent. It is a chance for people to gather with a shared interest, and hopefully be stimulated into conversation by the energy and excitement that a “battle” usually herds. At least that’s what co- founder, Chris Pemberton had in mind for the idea behind the event.
“Art Battle is a very exciting atmosphere,” said Pemberton. “There’s a lot going on, there’s people demonstrating their skill and their courage while everybody is instructed to engage with each other, including with us [the founders] with their votes, so I think that’s very important.”
Pemberton and Simon Plashkes started this event five years ago, the inspiration being accredited to finding a progressive and positive way for people to spend recreational time, specifically their own. Pemberton reflected on how that reason, among others, is including but definitely not limited to their own ambition and work ethic. This could possibly be a factor for why the event has become successful in cities across Canada over the years.
Throughout the night, artists are given guidelines and time limits (along with all the necessary tools) to complete a piece, and audience members are able to vote for who they like the best. The event, which is happening at The Great Hall, encourages attendees to walk around the circle of artists and engage in conversations with other people and the artists themselves.
Pemberton shared his passion for art and events, as well as helping people experience something different in the city nightlife.
“Having something to talk about that’s positive is a key ingredient for anyone wanting to have a successful event. People who are there have to be inspired to communicate with each other, in a way that’s building and looking for positive answers,” said Pemberton.
Andre Kan, a student at the Ontario College of Art and Design (OCAD), is one of the 16 artists that will be vying for the public’s vote. Kan said his friends from Creatures Creating, a gallery and studio on Dundas and Bathurst, encouraged him to participate. His also said his style is influenced by architecture and describes it as abstract.
This is his first year competing in the art battle.
“I’m not very nervous, but it always kicks in about half an hour before an event,” said Kan.
Kan said this is his first year participating, and he is excited to be part of the event that has many of his friends are talking so positively about.
Other than Pemberton being able to creatively fill his own recreational time by organizing Art Battle, and having local artists like Kan building their resumes, Toronto residents are able to experience a new way to socialize.