RAW allows eclectic artists a stage

Photo by Tyler Meuter

RAW: Natural Born Artists is an international arts organization that spotlights independent artists in visual art, film, fashion, music, hair and makeup, photography, modeling and performing arts.

The organization seeks to provide up-and-coming artists with resources, a social network and an audience needed to gain exposure in the art industry. RAW operates in over 60 communities across the United States, Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom.

RAW organizes showcase events all over the world to highlight the works of their member artists. On Aug. 26, RAW Atlanta presented “Paramount” at Terminal West.

The parking lot was buzzing with creative energy; attendees were dressed in cocktail attire, socializing, drinking and supporting local artists through their critiques and praises. Terminal West, typically a concert venue, had various exhibits throughout the space and into the neighboring restaurant, Stationside.

What was particularly interesting about this art show — and what added to the liveliness — was the variety of artistic mediums presented. Lining the walls were displays of paintings, photography, digital art, woodworking and jewelry. On stage, The DC Gentlemen, OLU and C.Dupe performed musical acts ranging from hip hop to soul. In the open space, various artists displayed their works.

To someone unfamiliar with art shows, this event could have been overwhelming, but to those with more experience, it presented a lively interpretation of a typical exhibition.

Adri Sanahuja’s costume and painting collection was one of the more unconventional exhibits, using materials like bright-colored vinyl, mesh, cotton, yarn, feathers, handmade embroidery and, of course, pompoms. Sanahuja recently moved to Atlanta from Costa Rica; her costume designs are often featured in music videos filmed in Atlanta.

“Eclectic Pompom is inspired by the blending of modern and eclectic art. This collection combines the styles of the women of the Hmong community and the Hindu spirituality so they work in harmony,” Sanahuja said.

Another artist present was David Phillips, owner of Wabstract, an abstract wood art company based in Athens, Georgia. He creates modern looks using different colored wood panels. Phillips described RAW as, “in tune with what the people want. Whether it be following a trend, or going against the grain, there is something here for everyone.”

Another artist, Erika Hibbert, focused on the use of inks and oil paint in addition to  incorporating nontraditional items like tea bags and fortune cookie slips while artists like LaKendra Hukaby are illustrators and graphic designers whose works exude feminist power and incorporate pop culture icons.

Those interested in the Atlanta art scene or experiencing something new should enjoy RAW’s art showcases. Although this particular event had a ticket price of $15, these contributions go towards stimulating creativity in Atalnta, the city Tech students call home. “Practice everyday, push yourself to the limit, and don’t wait to be ready because you never will be,” Sanahuja said, advising young artists.