Published on June 26, 2024

Shine a Spotlight on Young Local Talent at Illuminate!

If you’ve never seen (or even heard of) an art battle, now is your chance to experience it firsthand!

Amplify, the City of St. Albert’s youth arts development program, is set to present their seventh-annual Illuminate event on Saturday, July 6 from 5 to 9 p.m. — a vibrant evening of art, activities and performance that shines a spotlight on young, local talent. A cornerstone of the event is the art battle; a competitive painting event, where artists only have 30 minutes to create a piece. For each round of painters, the audience then votes on their favourite and the winner then moves on to the next round.

“It’s incredible what these visual artists can come up with in 30 minutes,” explains Kathleen Bell, community cultural coordinator and Amplify’s City liaison. “Especially if you’re not a painter, it’s so interesting to watch them work and see them go from a blank canvas to a developed piece in half an hour.”

Three people playing with a dog

A youth performer on stage under a tree playing a guitar

As Bell explains, they started the art battle to put visual artists front and center.

“Often, we get to know the musicians and poets and the audience gets to interact with them and offer their appreciation,” says Bell. “We thought that was missing with our painters, so we started the art battle. It takes courage to get up there and participate in the battle, but it’s also a rare opportunity for the public to see the artistic process and for us to get to know the artists behind the paintings.”

The “spotlighting” of young talent is the true goal behind Illuminate — highlighting the artists in our community. The event includes not only the art battle, but chalk art, a photography exhibition and a performance stage for singer-songwriters set right along the river.

Person drawing with chalk on pavement

Youth painting

“We have wonderfully creative young residents in St. Albert and our goal is to ‘illuminate’ that fact,” says Bell. “You can have an inspiring arts experience right in downtown St. Albert.”

This all-ages event also has activities for patrons to partake in, including professional body painting, a community paint-by-numbers project, a button-making/magnet making station, and a DIY lantern-making craft. Additionally, a concession onsite will include ice cream and popcorn.

Illuminate will take place along the river behind St. Albert Place (5 St. Anne Street). Bell advises spectators to bring lawn chairs and blankets to enjoy the musical performances. “The lineup is super special this year,” says Bell, “and the setting is so beautiful. It will be a gorgeous night.”

For more information, visit the Illuminate event page


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Last edited: June 26, 2024