Arts & Entertainment

‘Art Battle’ is taking over Freighthouse Square this January!

For all art lovers and those with a keen eye, this event is for you.

Welcome back students and a happy new year, the winter quarter has finally begun. We hope your holidays were just as exciting as this event will be. For all the art lovers and students interested in seeing a battle as intense as a joust, the yearly “Art Battle” will be returning January 14 in Tacoma at Rainer Room—Freighthouse Square.

“Art Battle” is a live and competitive painting battle where groups of artists have 20 minutes to take their blank canvases and transform it into whatever their imagination creates. As they battle the clock, they will have bidders surrounding them, and voters discussing in a high-stress but fun event. The artwork will be available for silent audience after the shows.

Sean Bono, the first of the co-founders, created Art Battle events in New York in 2001 and has worked 20 years to advance the idea of live art competition. The second co-founder, Simon Plashkes, launched the “Art Battle” tournaments in Toronto, and also works with “Art Battle” communities around the world who help celebrate their artistic talent. The last co-founder, Chris Pemberton, the Tournament Commissioner but is now on artistic sabbatical; was responsible for many shows that balanced competition and community. 

“Art Battle” is described by The New York Post, “Like Iron Chef, but with Paint!”

As someone who attended this event in 2020, I’d describe it as a very high-energy, vibrant and colorful dynamic. Where many people from different groups come together to see about 12 artists, or more, given that this has three rounds for each group of people. I was able to interview an artist that year, who said her nerves were what made this exciting; As did her paintings, which showed her talent and why she competed. 

It is expected with battles like these all across the world, to be crowded, and packed into buildings. This year they decided to move this battle into a bigger building rather than their choices for past events; at the ALMA Mater, which they didn’t predict overcrowding; organizers chose Freighthouse Square, which is a better alternative.

“Art Battle” will be held one day only, on January 14 at Freighthouse Square. Tickets run for $15 for the early bird, $17 for general admission, and $20 plus tax at the door. All other information can be found at We hope you enjoyed your holidays and happy 2023!