Taegan Larvin uses rag to paint her image in the final round at the SAS Art Battle. (File photo)

Taegan Larvin uses rag to paint her image in the final round at the SAS Art Battle. (File photo)

Artists go canvas to canvas for Shuswap Hospital Foundation

Art Battle Salmon Arm fundraiser to help purchase fetal monitor

Twelve people will be putting their artistic abilities to the test, applying acrylic to canvas in a timed paint-off for a drop of fun, a dash of fame and the satisfaction supporting a worthy cause.

Saturday, June 6, sees the return of Art Battle Salmon Arm. This is the second year for the event, organized by the Barley Station and Meikle Studios with support from various vendors, all to raise money for the Shuswap Hospital Foundation.

Last year’s Art Battle raised $11,000 for the foundation. That funding went towards the purchase of a labour delivery bed for Shuswap Lake General Hospital. Money raised from this year’s battle will be used to purchase a fetal monitor for the hospital.

“The cost of the fetal monitor is $25,000, so it’s a significant cost, but if we can help raise a good portion of that, that would be great,” said Shuswap Hospital Foundation development director Fiona Harris, who is once again helping the Barley Station’s Kathy Bradford to co-ordinate the event.

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Art Battle consists of six painter, each with one palette of paint, given 20 minutes to create a work of art on canvas. The attending audience votes on which artist’s work is the best, then another six painters are up. After 20 minutes, the audience picks the best work of the second round, and then the winners of both rounds go head-to-head for Art Battle Salmon Arm supremacy, and the opportunity to advance to the regional Art Battle in Kamloops and then on to provincials.

“This is great to show that people from all walks of life are able to create something on a canvas, and everybody can walk around that whole area and watch these things come to life,” said Harris. “Everybody starts off with this white canvas and within 20 minutes, it all happens right in front of your very eyes and that’s surprising. And that’s one of the things people were very engaged with last year. They couldn’t believe that this could be done in that short period of time.”

Bradford stresses the event isn’t meant to diminish art and the work artists do, but to bring attention to the arts, have some fun and, in the process, raise money for a good cause.

As audience members watch canvas’ come to life, they can enjoy appetizers and, for $5, a glass of beer or wine, all donated for the event by the Barley Station, the Hive, Blue Canoe, Recline Ridge and other vendors.

Bradford says most Art Battle events aren’t fundraisers, but for the Barley Station, it was another opportunity to help a cause they believe in.

“I think healthcare is something that touches every single one of us in our community, whether it’s us directly or our relatives or friends or whatever… we are all going to be effected by it one way or another,” said Bradford. “Whether you’re having a baby and you need that delivery bed… or anything to do with the medical field, we’re all going to be touched by it, so for me it’s been a worthwhile cause to fundraise for.”

Both Bradford and Harris said they couldn’t do the event without Adam and Jenna Meikle, who oversee the event and donate the paint, easels, canvases, etc. needed to make it happen.

As of last Friday, May 25, three artists were still needed for the event. One of the artists that will be participating is SAS Grade 12 student Ava Wutke, who took the top spot at the recent Art Battle hosted at the high school.

“It was for fun, we didn’t do it as a fundraiser there,” said Bradford. “It was to bring attention to artists and what they do. A lot of the kids were very nervous but they did amazing, they really did amazing. They kept their paintings. I’m sure grandma or parents received those afterwards, but they said it was definitely something they’d do again.”

Art Battle Salmon Arm takes place at 6 p.m. at the Salmon Arm Curling Rink. Tickets are $35 and include appetizers.They can be purchased at artbattle.com, or at the Barley Station Brew Pub and Meikle Studios.

Salmon Arm Observer