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RAW opens their 2014 season in Las Vegas

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The RAW Artists show in Las Vegas has become a centerpiece for artists to showcase their talents and network with others. It was a long time coming in 2014: amid much anticipation, the first show took place on April 10 at their new venue, the Las Vegas Country Club on Fremont Street. This show, the first under new director Carina Arriaga, was firmly in the tradition established by previous RAW shows in Las Vegas.

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As is the RAW custom, the show consisted of both displays of visual art (fine are paintings and photographs), performance/demonstration art and a fashion show. The fan favorite among the photographers seemed to be Christy Weaver, a Las Vegas fashion and art photographer. The opinion of the attendees was validated by fashion editors; Christy brought a stack of glossy, high concept magazines that her work had appeared in.

Artist Kylie Erret had been given a spot right at the entrance to the club, in part because her near-mural size paintings required more space to hang than could easily be accommodated out on the show floor. But it was a happy choice. Her pictures, reminiscent of art deco and a bit of Patrick Nagel, but with more emotion and updated for the 21st century, were show-stoppers on their own, and deserved what ended up being a featured spot.

As always with multiple musical styles on offer, there were different favorites. One stand-out performance was given by Las Vegas singer Kella Bo Bella. Following her performance, Allison Jacks' Dance Troupe “The New Republic of Debauchery” seemed widely appreciated by the crowd.

As always, the main attraction was the fashion show, and as always it was presented at the end of the evening. Costume designer Wendy Eberhardt-Petrick put on a show that had the audience gasping and cheering in appreciation. Her fantasy-themed costumes were worn by expressive actors/models who played out the role, which enormously enhanced the impact of the show. Photos of Wendy Eberhardt-Petrick's designs on the runway are in the slide show accompanying this article.

Wendy's costumes reflect the seven years of classical training she had at Webster University Conservatory of Theatre Arts, where she earned a BFA in costume design, and at the prestigious Carnegie Mellon University, earning a double masters degree in costume and scene design. The training shows in her exquisitely crafted and detailed costumes, inspired by operas, fables and familiar stories. Wendy works for Imagination Costume in Las Vegas, and her work for them has been featured in numerous stage and theatrical productions.

But on her own time also designs costumes for private clients, and also supports charity events like the annual Circus Couture show, where her costumes have been featured for years. You can see more of her work on her website.

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