POCATELLO — Art Battle, a live art competition where artists create paintings on canvases in real-time, is coming to the Oasis Bar in Pocatello Saturday. The competition is part of a larger competition that stages fifty battles a month in cities across the globe.
“Art Battle is kind of like the old b-boy breakdance format type thing where people would dance and then whoever bested the other one moves on,” Art Battle participant and Sixes creative studio co-owner Josh Pohlman told EastIdahoNews.com. “Every artist has twenty minutes to create anything they want on this canvas. At the end of the twenty-minute block, (the art) gets voted on.”
AFter the competition is an auction of the art.
“The artists get a pretty generous portion of the proceeds of whatever their art sells for,” Pohlman said. Any person can come in. Everybody has the same opportunity, the same medium, to come in and create. It’s really a fun way to see, in a competitive setting, what can you do in twenty minutes.”
Beyond the competitive and commercial aspects, Art Battle also provides a venue for local artists to present their work and connect with like-minded creative people. Art Battle helps build and strengthen creative communities by bringing artists together.
“There’s going to be time for people to mingle and network and put a human face to the artwork,” Pohlman said. “When you make those human connections and human interactions and understand the person behind the artwork, I think that’s super special.”
Pohlman said he hopes Art Battle will help graffiti be taken more seriously as an art form.
“We’ve been making strides in east Idaho,” he said. “It’s beginning to be a lot more fluid of a conversation in understanding graffiti as an art medium. There’s a lot of negative connotations to graffiti.”
Pohlman also sees the Sixes studio and graffiti art in general as a way to get young people invested in the Downtown Pocatello area.
“As a community, we haven’t really offered (kids) a lot of things for them to get equity in Downtown Pocatello,” he said. “That’s kind of strange because you need that next generation to like the area enough to sustain it and bring foot traffic and make it a point of interest for people.”
“On Main Street, we’ve got bars, antique shops, divorce lawyers, and stuff like that,” he added. “What does a fifteen or sixteen-year-old have to participate in Downtown? We put our shop on Main Street very purposefully to give people that equity and Art Battle does in a whole other light.”
Art Battle Pocatello is set for Saturday at the Oasis Bar at 304 N Main in Pocatello. Doors open at 9 p.m. and painting starts at 10 p.m. Tickets are $20 and are available here. Visit the Art Battle website or Facebook page for more information.