Stay in the moment, stay focused and bring earplugs, if necessary. Taking a page out of a younger artist’s book wouldn’t hurt.
Those are words of advice from Mark Glavina to any artist preparing to take on the fourth annual Steveston Grand Prix of Art on Saturday, Sept. 21.
“Adults put way more pressure on themselves than the youth,” said Glavina, owner of the Phoenix Art Workshop in Steveston and organizer of the ever-growing community event.
“Kids are better at being in the moment. I find their works are freer in style, and interpretations of the location are very interesting. They have no fear.”
And this year’s event will see “tons of youth” joining, as well as a record number of artists in general, according to Glavina.
Once the horn sounds Saturday morning, close to 100 eager artists, armed with their equipment, will be sent to various locations around Steveston to paint for three hours. At the end of the three hours, all artwork must be ready for hanging in the Chinese Bunk House at Britannia Shipyard.
An award ceremony follows with first place receiving the Gray Cup, named after Dan Gray who started a similar grand prix in Qualicum 20 years ago.
“Once I participated in Qualicum, I was addicted,” said Glavina, who was then inspired to bring the challenge to Steveston. “There’s this adrenaline rush mixed in with nervousness and anxiety.
“People’s personalities really come out. There’s something about that terrifying experience that has people coming back for more.”
Another appeal for the event is how it takes art out of the static confines of a gallery, letting the public see the intensity and excitement, and the artistic process as they watch the paintings unfold.
“It sheds light on the art and artists in the community like no other event has done,” said Glavina. “The artists are taking a risk, putting their reputation on the line. It puts their art in a new perspective and also provides some new perspectives of Steveston.”
This year, the exhibition has been expanded to a week. Viewers will be able to see the work until Sunday, Sept. 29 from 12 to 5 p.m. each day (gallery will be closed Sept. 23).
Glavina also wants to have similar events in Ladner next year. The Municipality of Delta has expressed an interest, contributing to the vision of a grand prix circuit.
Pre-registration is open until Sept. 17 and costs $20 for adults and $15 for youth. Artists can also register Saturday, but will cost $5 more. Visit www.grandprixofart.com.
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