Nervousness mixes with excitement at Art Battle competitions

Raissa Tetanish
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TRURO – From the moment she started painting at the last Art Battle here, Brittney Murray was addicted.

Brittney Murray, left, and Jeff Roberts are no stranger to Art Battle competitions. Both artists have competed in previous events in Truro, and both will be at Art Battle 101 at the Holiday Inn on Feb. 28. Roberts, who lives in Truro, will be one of 12 painters eyeing the top spot, while Murray will be volunteering. 

“I loved it. I’m completely addicted to it,” said Murray, a Tatamagouche resident whose artist name is Nittybird. “It’s terrifying and fun at the same time.”

Art Battle puts 12 artists competing together during a quick 20 minutes, all the while surrounded by the audience who vote on their favourite piece. Winners of the round move on to the finals, where the artists again create what they can in 20 minutes. All artwork is sold at the end of the event.

“When I first competed, I was shaking the entire time,” Murray, 30, said about the competition held at The Loft at the end of September. “It was difficult because I was trying to do some really intricate work.”

Having competed in the first Art Battle hosted in Truro, Jeff Roberts is once again entered to compete. Art Battle 101 begins at 8 p.m. on Feb. 28 at the Holiday Inn in Truro.

“I first noticed Art Battle by chance and thought, ‘what the hell,’” said the 26-year-old who has been painting for as long as he can remember. “It was a lot of fun. It was different. It was a cool atmosphere – it’s hard to describe unless you’ve actually been there.”

For Roberts, the most difficult thing to overcome at the event is nervousness.

“The first time, I almost psyched myself out. This time, I’ll be more relaxed,” he said.

While Murray won’t be competing at Art Battle 101, she will still be volunteering at the event. Because she was the winner of the last battle in Truro, an exhibit of her work will run the month of February at the MacLellan and Moffatt Financial Gallery at the Marigold Cultural Centre. The exhibit will feature two pieces that Murray painted at an Art Battle in Halifax she attended, a result of winning the Truro battle.

“In Truro, everyone seemed to be best friends right away, which I found supportive and encouraging, but in Halifax, the artists were sizing each other up more,” Murray said.

With this being the third Art Battle in the Hubtown since the spring of 2012, Roberts thinks the event will be able to continue.

“The art scene seems like it’s growing, so I think it will last,” he said.

“A lot still don’t know about it, but as it spreads, there are more artists that want to compete in it,” added Murray. “It brings you out of your comfort zone. For me, I don’t do things fast, but because of Art Battle, I’m doing things differently. It has definitely influenced me after it.”

Tickets for Art Battle are $10 in advance (limited numbers available), $12 for youth and $15 for adults at the door. More information on the event and tickets can be found at Tickets can also be picked up at Thrown Together Pottery and Art at 37 King Street in Truro.

Murray’s exhibit runs for the month of February, with an opening reception at 6:30 p.m. on Feb. 6.

Twitter: @TDNRaissa



WHAT: Art Battle 101 (an all-ages event)

WHEN: Feb. 28, doors open at 7:30 p.m., painting starts at 8

WHERE: Holiday Inn, Truro

WHO: A dozen painters competing against one another

TICKETS: $10 in advance; $12 for youth, $15 for adults at the door; advance tickets available at Thrown Together Pottery and Art on King Street in Truro




WHAT: Brittney Murray’s art exhibit

WHEN: Month of February, opening reception Feb. 6 at 6:30 p.m.

WHERE: MacLellan and Moffatt Financial Gallery at the Marigold Cultural Centre, Truro

FEATURING: artwork created with charcoal, acrylic, watercolour, paper, fabric and human hair extensions

Organizations: Holiday Inn, MacLellan, The Loft Marigold Cultural Centre

Geographic location: Truro, Tatamagouche, Halifax

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