After drawing for 24-hours straight, Garner Beckett says creativity takes over.
“When you’re on the edge of sleep it is so much easier to become completely absorbed in your work and completely forget about whatever it is that might be on your mind,” the Brantford artist said. “My work becomes a little loose and uninhibited.”
Beckett is one of 30 artists who will fight exhaustion as they work through the day and night creating works of art during the third annual 24 Hour Art-A-Thon, taking place at the Sanderson Centre for the Performing Arts.
From 8 a.m. on Friday until 8 a.m. on Saturday, the artists will each work as part of one of six different teams: drawers and painters, crafters, photographers, musicians, social media and theatre.
They will draw inspiration from each other and from their exhaustion to create works of art.
“I’m sure staying up for 24 hours to do anything is exhausting, but trying to be creative for 24 hours straight is a definite challenge,” Beckett said. “Over 24 hours, everyone will end up having some high points and low points. I think that’s why it is so important to have so many creative people working at the same time. You end up feeding off each other when you hit that creative block.”
First-time art-a-thoner and Brantford knitter Lauren Theobalds plans to draw inspiration from the artists around her as she knits her way through the night, trying to keep her fingers going as she creates headbands and scarves.
“I’m going to bring with me a whole bunch of different yarns in different colours and textures and take in what is going on around me,” she said. “I really want to interact with people and see what is going on and try to contribute something that will be fun and engaging.”
The art-a-thon is a fundraiser for the Brantford Arts Block and the new Brantford Centre for the Arts, which is currently under construction at 111 Sherwood Dr.
It’s also a way to raise awareness about arts and culture in the community, said Arts Block project assistant Adrian Beam.
“The more people we can make aware of the arts in the community the better,” Beam said. “There are opportunities here, there are people passionate about it and we should support that.”
Members of the public will have the opportunity to take part in the event through a series of sessions running throughout the art-a-thon.
Photographers will also be scouring the city to take photographs of Brantfordians and bringing the images back to create what will one day become a mosaic that hangs in the new Brantford Centre for the Arts.
The public is also invited in just for a peek at the art.
“It’s really interesting to see people start out all fresh and then come back and see where the process took a bizarre turn,” Beam said. “You can see where the idea started pure and clean and then how it warped, but still ended up beautiful.”
A reveal party will be held on Saturday at 8 p.m. so the public and artists can see what 24-hours of straight creativity can produce. Hamilton-based band The Rest is scheduled to perform.
“You throw people in a room and what comes out of the 24 hours may not be what they set out to accomplish in the beginning,” said Arts Block development co-ordinator Ashley Fournier. “That’s the joy of it.”