But that is exactly what Sean Tobin and Skyler Nelles, organizers of the first ArtOff in Traverse City, will be doing this Saturday night.
We are taking applications from the first 20 artists who will have three hours to complete a work of art in front of the audience gathered, said Tobin. If you ask a painter, they will tell you it takes 20 to 50 hours and in some cases longer, to complete a work of art. We are giving them just three hours.
Tobin and Nelles are being joined by Russ Springsteen of the Right Brain Brewery and Penny Krebiehl of Little Artsham (the beneficiary of the ArtOff) for this first of a kind event in Northern Michigan.
We are borrowing this idea from Grand Rapids, said Tobin, who is originally from the U.P. and is a graphic designer for Corbin Design. When Skyler and I were at Kendell Design some of the students there organized this underground competition where the artists competed and it took off.
Tobin said the events are full of enthusiasm from both the artist perspective as well as the audience.
We are putting the artist on the spot -- there is no room for painters block. You have to work quickly, said Tobin. The audience really gets into it. It is really cool to see these works of art being created right before your eyes.
Event organizers want to emphasize that competitiors dont just have to be painters.
We have a welder, someone doing needlepoint, and of course painters, said Tobin. The audience is handed a ballot upon arrival and after the three hours they cast their ballot.
For Tobin and Nelles this event goes beyond benefiting Little Artsham, a collection of artists, musicians, environmentalists, and gardeners committed to learning and co-creating with children and their families. It is about celebrating the visual arts community.
I think that at times the visual arts community is overlooked here, said Nelles. These art-off events create some excitement for the art community.
I think exhibitions are great, Tobin adds. But it is important to note that this is not an exhibition of these artists works. We will not be displaying any of their other works, just what they create that night.
Art is important to every community and Northern Michigan has a strong arts community, said Nelles, who splits his time between Britten Banners and TV 7&4 as a graphic designer. We hope that by creating a unique event not seen before will help to draw more exposure for artists in the area.
The ArtOff competition will take place above the Right Brain Brewery, located in the Warehouse District of Downtown Traverse City on Saturday June 14. Doors open at 6:45 and tickets are $10 and include a glass of local wine or beer (cash bar) and catered appetizers from Chef J.W. Pascoe of Pearls. Proceeds will benefit Little Artshram (littleartshram.org). All works will be auctioned off via a silent auction with a minum bid required and 85% of the sale proceeds benefiting Little Artshram. Additional details are at artoff.org or by contacting the Right Brain Brewery at 231-944-1239.