Battle of the brushes

By: Jaclyn Hoffman

Local artists compete in a live painting battle to promote the support of New Orleans’ talents.

On Feb. 13, in an effort to encourage the support of New Orleans based talents, Tiki Tolteca at Felipe’s in the French Quarter hosted The Art Battle featuring six local artists.  The event showcased a painting competition, wherein spectators were able to participate by bidding on their favorite works.

Participating artists were TJ Black, Alex Harvie, Emily Lovejoy, Jill Mulkey, Jade Brady and Marc Fresh.  Each artist painted within a three-hour timeslot, from 8 to 11 p.m., creating original artworks.  The finalized pieces were demonstrative of each artist’s unique style, and were very different from one another.

As they worked, a DJ spun ‘50s-themed tunes for the eclectic crowd.  Onlookers consisted of men and women aged 21 and up.  People heard of the event mostly through word of mouth, social media and from the artists themselves.

Three female, and three male painters compete live in an artistic battle

Three female, and three male painters compete live in an artistic battle

On a bench in front of the painters at work were 6 clipboards with bidding sheets.  People were encouraged to bid throughout the night.  Bidding started at a minimum of $300, with a minimum raise of $25.  Spectators were also given a “buy it now” option for $700.  Bidders were automatically entered into a raffle to win tickets for Dr. Dog at the Civic Theatre.  One of the artists, Jill Mulkey, created a 2 for 1 deal, completing 2 paintings in the allotted time. By 11 pm, there were bids placed on 3 of the 6 pieces.

Funk Baby, a local PR team, promoted the event.  The organization works to spread the word about local artists, musicians and businesses.  Members of the team were dressed in hula skirts, dancing around and encouraging the audience to bid.

Spearheaded by artists Black and Harvie, the competition has taken place several times between different artists.

“We’ve done it before, and we’ll do it forever, as long as there are artists in the city,” said Pamela Blackmon, a member of the Funk Baby team.


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