As local artistry expands in the Raleigh vicinity, being recognized for quality and uniqueness is becoming more and more competitive. Artists have to push their talent to the limits if they want to make a name for themselves, which can sometimes be challenging for an independent artist. That’s why being asked to be a part of a RAW: Natural Born Artist showcase indicates that you are in the lead of your craft. RAW is an independent arts organization, that hand-selects and spotlights independent artistry in 54 locations nationally, with new locations opening internationally. Their monthly events give exposure to the highly creative realms of visual arts, film, fashion, music, photography, performing arts, and more. This month, RAW brought together a collection of talent to celebrate their final show of the 2012 season with “Holiday RAWk”.
“It [took] about two months to plan. The first month is going out and talking to all the talented artist that we have out here and the second involves promotion; promoting all the artist in the show, promoting the showcase itself, putting together everything in terms of production, and then the show,” said Raleigh Showcase Director Brittany Guarino, who flew out from San Diego to help organize the event. “It was a lot of work, but also a lot of fun. I’ve met a lot of really awesome people.”
It was a smorgasbord for the art lovers of Raleigh; ranging from fashion photography to abstract paintings, each display held a signature style that mirrored the artist’s creativity. Some embraced culture with traditional designs, such as Rio Aubry Taylor whose inspiration is drawn from his Mexican heritage, while others put a twist on modern cartooning like Jaime Andrews.
The creatives stood proudly next to their pieces, responding to inquiries about their technique or inspiration. Jewelers lured in potential customers by inviting attendees to try on different pieces. The artists gave deep meaning and thought to their work hoping that such depth would gain them respect and add to their fan base. For some artists, such as conceptual Fashion Photographer Sheila Carroll, this showcase marked the beginning of a new market. “This is my first show, period,” said Carroll, “I’ve only been doing photography for about three years…it‘s exciting!”
Upstairs the models were patched and pasted with last-minute touch ups by the teams of Stylists and Makeup Artists. It had been almost five hours since they began prepping for the anticipated runway show, and everyone was anxious as the crowd migrated from the art display to the rooftop. The dynamics of each team’s creativity were boundless. Makeup Artist and Hair Stylist Candy Mancera, who worked alongside another artist and jeweler, focused on the RAW theme of holiday cheer by having her models garnished with poinsettias, their faces painted in glimmering silver and gold. Total Perspective LLC, who specialize in extreme hair and makeup, as well as fashion designs and model coaching, gave the show some flare with a high fashion Harajuku look that stuck to their signature style of bright and bold. “It’s basically straight-up high fashion, really colorful,” said Dominque Rodriguez, who joined the group within the last few weeks.
As the excitement of the fashion show cooled down, the band was downstairs ready to fill the room with buoyancy. Brandon Wise & The Scorchin’ Sons gave a high-energy performance. Lead singer Brandon Wise hopped around dancing, his guitar giving life to the band’s heavy, soulful rock rhythm. Their sound can be familiarized with that of Modest Mouse, the horn blares and intense vocals giving each song a shot of adrenaline that listeners can feel. The audience danced and socialized to the last feature of the night as they grabbed their final drinks from the bar and prepared to leave.
The Holiday RAWk brought in the Christmas season with displays of talent that can be found within the Raleigh city limits. The showcase gave featured artists celebrity status for the night, as well as motivation and inspiration for the new year.
For more on RAW: http://www.rawartists.org/
Photography by Jason Rizzo, http://raleighstatic.com