Prairie Fusion Arts and Entertainment held a St Patrick's Day Paint Challenge Saturday night in Portage la Prairie. Several contestants entered, including:

  • Mayor Sharilyn Knox
  • Councillor Colin Doyle
  • Sandra Proulx
  • Jane Tully
  • Lee Beaton
  • Mike Blume
  • Sara Lambert
  • Dale Finney
  • Rachael Clarke
  • Councillor Faron Nichols
  • Councillor Terrie Porter

Executive Director Lorna Knight says it was a fundraiser comprised of three rounds of painting. Rounds 1 and 2 allowed painters to make an impressionist styled painting in only 20 minutes. All participants were divided into two groups, with one going in Round 1 and the second group in Round 2. Two winners from each of those rounds faced off in Round 3 for the grand prize and were given only 15 minutes.

People voted by putting their ballots in bags situated in front of the paintings, while at the same time, they could bid in a silent auction.

"Dale Finney was the grand winner after three rounds of frantic painting, but we had a lot of really great artists and some phenomenal artwork that was created," says Knight. "All of the artwork is going to be on display here in the atrium from now to the end of the month and people can keep on auctioning. Anything that got a bid during the night of the challenge, is auctioned off here on the night of."

She explains the auction process. 

"Anything that had a bid that was placed on it Saturday night, those bids were finished at the end of the night, and will be considered sold. Anything that didn't have a bid on it in the night will be available. That way, it just encourages people to have attended because you get the actual added bonus of being able to bid on it and be successful because you were in attendance."

Knight adds it was the first paint challenge in Portage, and everyone had so much find that it will definitely take place again in the future. 

Dale Finney. the grand prize winner received $200 and free membership in the arts program.

She explains she doesn't normally do impressionist painting and enjoys being free to do whatever she likes. 

"I didn't take it in university but I do really love to do it in my spare time. I do different kinds of painting. I've done watercolour. I've done acrylic and, really, any style; just kind of whatever I feel like doing in the moment."

Finney says she's never sold any paintings before, adding her father invited her to get involved. She adds she'll definitely do it again the next time a challenge takes place. 

"I really like doing portraits; doing like realism paintings of people but, obviously, the time limit doesn't allow for that," continues Finney. "I just kind of looked up some images that might be more doable in the time. And that was what I settled on. I practiced the girl (the first picture in round 1 that she painted), but I didn't know if I'd make it to the second round. So, I just kind of had some pictures in my back pocket. For the second round, I winged it."