An artist in action at the Whistler Art Throw Down

8 Artists + 30 Minutes + 2 Rounds + 1 DJ + Cheering Crowd = Whistler Art Throw Down

“Painting in front of a crowd is very scary to say the least. I made sure I kept my eyes on the canvas and tried to phase out the staring eyes behind me. Plus, there’s the fact that I don’t ever paint in a time frame, let alone have seven great artists creating awesome work beside me. When the final buzzer went off,  I sighed with relief – I was thinking ‘thank god it’s over’. Then I stood back and examined my final piece and thought – what the hell is that?” – Competing artist, Baz Carolan.

The Whistler “Art Throw Down” series enlists eight artists to create a piece of work live on stage within 30 minutes with a crowd of people cheering them on. The evening is split into two rounds with the winners of both battling to be crowned “King or Queen of Canvas”. It’s the audiences votes that count, so while the DJ rips out the tunes the artists aim to impress.

“The concept was born out of a desire to give our talented local and visiting artists more ways to showcase their work,” explains Kevani Macdonald, the event organizer. “For a lot of artists the hard reality is that they are working other jobs to support themselves and don’t get to spend as much time on their art as they would like. The Art Throw Down events are perfect because they do not require a great deal of time commitment from the artists, it’s more about showing up and getting ‘er done in only 30 minutes. Its also great because the time restraint can be a little bit of a leveling field, our first throw-down on March 25 saw emerging artist Raphel Suter, who had never painted in public before, win the public vote against three other artists to earn a spot in the final against the grand master of public creation Taka Sudo.”

The inaugural Whistler Art Throw Down happened in March drawing over 120 people, and there’s hope that the second event will encourage even more people to come and check out the talent. The Art Throw Downs are supported by Gibbons Life to give local artists a platform where they can showcase their work. This stems from a belief that the more you integrate artists and local people into businesses, the more both will prosper.

“Live-painting is totally different from working in the studio,” says artist Taka Sudo. “At a live-painting event, we have to do the same job as the DJ – keep people entertained, motivated, excited and at the same time we have to care about the quality of a finished piece. Painting in 30 minutes with the clock ticking down is perfect because people can enjoy whole process without getting bored. Whistler is cool town with young energy and passion, and I’d like to see more live-painting or art related event in bars and clubs. You don’t need to purchase expensive artworks to enjoy art or to support art scene.”

All the art created at the Whistler Art Throw Down is available for purchase through a silent auction – who knows maybe in a decade or two you’ll have a million dollar masterpiece on your hands.

The Whistler Art Throw Down, hosted at Garfinkel's

Whistler Art Thrown Down: The Details

When: Tuesday, April 22: Art Throw Down #2

Doors open 7pm – Show begins 8.30pm

Where: Garfinkels, Whistler

Why: Come along to witness the skill of:

How Much: The event itself is only $5 so grab your ticket.

Have a look at the Whistler Art Throw Down Facebook page to check out some of their art.

Support your favourite artist, cast your vote, be inspired, and get your groove on!

Gibbons Whistler

Gibbons has been celebrating with people since 1979. We operate venues, run festivals, brew beer, talk travel and throw parties.