WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — Just a few months after the Wichita Falls Art Association hosted its first art battle competition, the organization is announcing it will also be hosting the national championships in 2020.
“We got chosen. It’s not going to be in LA. It’s not going to be in New York. It’s not going to be in Chicago,” WFAA member Bob Barrow said.” “It’s going to be in Wichita Falls, Texas.”
Originating in New York City, the Art Battle gives artists all over the country the chance to test their skills in a timed battle.
A competitive environment that artist and past college athlete Jason Slagle knows all too well.
After being sidelined due to an athletic injury, Slagle said he began to express himself by creating art through different mediums.
“It’s about being in your own world. You just have to learn how to get to that place,” Slagle said. “It’s around other people but you’re still in your own world and that’s what’s great about painting. It allows you to do that.”
Sierra Archer, local artist and previous Art Battle contestant, said she usually leans towards using oil pastels, pencil or ink, but participating in the Art Battle competition has allowed her to cultivate another skill set and meet other creative people which is something she appreciates because not long ago, she was new to town and didn’t know very many people.
“We all paint different like our pieces here,” Archer said. “They’re completely different, but it’s fun because artists can come out and see that you don’t have to do what everybody else is doing. You just do your own thing.”
Art Battle has competitors in more than 100 cities across six continents.
Barrow said he is hoping the global interest in the competition will also give Wichita Falls artists more exposure.
“We’re promoting the community. Big time. We’re promoting the arts in downtown. It’s really neat what’s happening downtown,” Barrow said.
With this year marking the 70th anniversary of the Wichita Falls Art Association, Barrow said events like this are what is going to keep the art scene in Wichita Falls growing for more years to come.
“We’re bringing artists together. It’s the 70th anniversary of the art association, which is kind of what kick-started all of this,” Barrow said. “And hopefully with the in-growth of new people, and we have found a lot of new people, that we’ll be able to grow for another 70 years.”
The battle began at 6 p.m., but the doors opened at 5 p.m.
For more information on where to buy tickets and how to apply to be in the competition, click here.