Applications open for everyone in B.C, only top nine will be selected for the in-person competition. Work of the participants might be showcased in the exhibition, which will open on the competition day, Feb. 22.

Applications open for everyone in B.C, only top nine will be selected for the in-person competition. Work of the participants might be showcased in the exhibition, which will open on the competition day, Feb. 22.

Langley Art Council hosts novel live portrait painting competition

Top nine artists from anywhere in B.C. will paint in front of public with a set time limit

Who got the finest brush strokes in the province?

The Langley Arts Council is looking for B.C.’s artist of the year.

For its first-ever live portrait competition, the council will invite nine artists to Aldergrove to paint portraits in front of an audience. The nine will be selected through an initial screening round in which all B.C.-based artists can send up to three original works for consideration.

The council’s 2022 Portrait Artist of the Year Competition is based on the popular TV show, Landscape Artist of the Year Canada, which brings together the country’s professional and amateur artists in a battle of the brushes to decide the best landscape artist.

While only nine will be selected for the local in-person competition, Claire Sarfeld, the executive director of Langley Art Council, said the rest of the artists will be showcased in an exhibition, which will take place on the competition day.

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Sarfeld explained that the exhibition space is large enough to include more than 100 art pieces, but if the council receives an extraordinary number of entries since entrants can submit up to three items, only limited number of pieces will be showcased.

“We are looking forward to presenting this new opportunity and encourage everyone to apply,” she said.

Come Feb. 27, the nine artists will be given two and a half hours to work on their portraits quietly without an audience. At 12:30 p.m., spectators will be invited into the main hall gallery to watch the artists complete their works. Artists can work up until 2 p.m., after which the judges will go around to take a look at each of the art pieces.

“The idea is that half way through, the community will be able to comment and see the exhibition and be able to see the artists in action,” Sarfeld said.

The judges will choose first, second and third place winners, she added.

The winning artist will receive a $100 and a gift card of the same value from the competition’s sponsors – Opus Art Supplies. The other two artists will be awarded an honourable mention and $50 Opus gift cards along with $50.

All the participating artists in the top nine will each receive a $25 Opus gift card, Sarfeld said.

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She said that the host committee is searching for three people to sit for the artists. They will be awarded a portrait of themselves at the end of the round. The art council will select the sitters themselves, and applications are not open for the public.

The artists who will give their work to the sitters will be compensated with one-year Langley Art Council membership and an exhibition opportunity in 2023.

The deadline to submit entries is Jan. 24, and the live competition will be held on Feb. 27 at Aldergrove Kinsmen Community Centre. Anyone in B.C. can send up to three entries for the first round. Langley Art Council members will be charged $8 to apply, and it is $15 when non-members to apply.

The council will also run an exhibition from Feb. 22 to March 3 to showcase all the submissions. For more information regarding the unique contest, people can visit the art council website at langleyarts.ca or email the organizers at galleries@langleyarts.ca.

Aldergrove Kinsmen Community Centre is located at 26770 29th Ave.

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