By Jerry Laird
Oct. 19, 2015
The thump of bass boomed from behind big steel doors, as people mingled and watched the Jays game in the lobby of the P.E.I. Brewing Company on Saturday night.
Behind the doors it was Art Battle 917.
When the doors opened the music of DJ Whaleskin poured into the lobby on the other side in the middle of the room was a stage set with easels.
The crowd rambled in and surrounded the stage as the five artists, with supplies, took their positions.
Host Al Douglas introduced the artists then led the crowd in a countdown to the beginning of round one.
The crowd moved slowly and as one in a clockwise direction around the stage while the artists painted. With each trip around, the artists’ visions emerged from the canvas.
“It’s an owl, “said one spectator.
“Wow, that’s amazing,” said another.
John Dohe produced a portrait of a woman with flaming red hair, her dark eyes staring into the spectator’s soul. Nathan Salmon’s landscape featured a waterfall that seemed to be rolling off the canvas.
Dohe and Salmon won and moved on to round three. The artists had 20 minutes to finish their work. Dohe and Salmon were done in less than 10.
Douglas led the crowd in the countdown for the second qualifying round. Federal Green Party candidate Becka Viau used a paint roller and a stencil to create a deer.
The voting was close, requiring a recount.
Matt Taylor ‘s abstract in shades of silver and copper, and Chris Weeks night landscape moved them to the final round with Dohe and Salmon.
Taylor, Weeks, Dohe and Salmon took to the stage one last time. The artists stayed with their respective themes and Salmon, painting another landscape, won Art Battle 917.
Douglas said Salmon is a crowd favourite who has competed on the Island a number of times. This is his first win on P.E.I.
The paintings were auctioned off and the proceeds split, with half going to the artist and the balance to Art Battle Canada and the P.E.I. Brewing Company.
The next P.E.I. Art Battle will be held Nov. 14 with 90’s Night DJ playing the music.
There will also be a Growler Challenge, said Douglas.
“That’s when you fill the Growler (a big mug) with beer and hold it with arm fully extended out at 90 degrees from your body. The one who holds it the longest wins.”
Check the website peibrewingcompany.com for details.