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Quest's Art Slam Pits Artists Against The Clock And Each Other

Friday's Art Slam will feature "a kaleidoscope of different talent and energy," said Quest Art School and Gallery official


Lawrence Sagar, left, director of Guest Art School and Gallery, and Sarah Hancock, art teacher, are preparing for and competing in Friday night's Art Slam at the Midland Cultural Centre.Gisele Winton Sarvis/MidlandToday


When do artists paint side by side in a race against the clock in front of a live audience?

At Art Slam they do.


"Art Slam is a great way to bring an audience into this space and we'll have our brochure and content available. It's a way to celebrate Quest altogether," said Lawrence Sagar, director of Quest Art School and Gallery, which is hosting the event for the first time since before the COVID pandemic.


Twenty-four artists are taking part in the battle of the brushes to win audience support and cash prizes in the Rotary Hall at the Midland Cultural Centre on Friday, Sept. 15th, 2023, starting at 6:00 PM.


A dozen artists will hit the stage and take an easel. With no theme or direction, they are given 30 minutes to complete a painting. The audience will cast ballots for their favourite. The two artists with the most ballots advance to the finals.


Then the second group of 12 get their 30 minutes. The judging will be repeated.

Four artists go into the final paint down and the audience will choose the winners. The first-place artist wins $500 and the three runners-up will each win $100.


Sagar said he had an "exceptional" response after putting out the call to amateur and professional artists. 


"Talk about a kaleidoscope of different talent and energy," said Sagar. "It's eclectic."

Sarah Hancock, 20, a visual art student at York University and a teacher with Quest, is going in Art Slam for the first time this year.


"I'm used to being a very perfectionist painter so limitations are a new and exciting challenge," Hancock said. "I was really nervous before practising but after practising my speed painting, I realized I can produce something worthwhile so now I'm excited," she said. "That nervous energy puts everyone on equal ground, and that's a really exciting environment to be in," she said.


The event is a fundraiser for Quest with proceeds supporting the art course schedule, with terms starting in October, January and March.

Art Slam tickets are $20 in advance of $25 at the door. For tickets, go to the Midland Cultural Centre website.


All art produced live will be put up for auction after the competition.

For more information, call Quest at 705-526-2787, visit the website questart.ca or find them on Instagram and Facebook at @QuestArtMidland. 


Feature Courtesy of Gisele Winton Sarvis

For Midland Today






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