Reminiscing the amazing talent from RAWartist 2012 and preparing for the next adventure…2013! May the odds be forever in our favor… – Ashlie Lawson
In 2012, Orlando had the privilege of welcoming an art movement, which swept the local art community by surprise, an event that would soon change the way the community views and engages in the underground art world. This is what every up and coming artist needs to display their work, to engage, to be inspired, build friendships, and most of all freedom to express ideas through creativity. These shows do not hold a candle to the traditional art shows held in downtown.
Ashlie Rolfe, the Showcase Director takes a very creative approach in revealing each shows featured artist, she definitely has a keen eye for talent and takes pride in the opportunity to highlight them. Each show has a different theme, but one theme that stays consistent throughout is the dash of sophistication, mixed with a touch of contemporary edge, a splash of intimacy, and a wave of color like no other art exhibit in Orlando! Artists and guests have the opportunity to socialize, exchange pleasures on each exhibit featured, purchase and watch live art, take photos , and all over your preferred beverage of choice.
In case some of you are not sure what RAWartist entails, well rest assured the details are here. RAWartist is an independent arts organization that hand-selects and focuses on independent creatives who are passionate in the visual arts, film, fashion, music, hair, make-up and hair artistry, photography, and performing arts. RAW’s mission is to provide prevailing artists of all creative realms with the tools, resources, and exposure they need to inspire and cultivate creativity in a way that they might be seen, heard, and loved. RAW educates, connects, and exposes emerging artists in 54 artistic communities across the United States and Australia. With monthly showcase events, Orlando’s RAWartists display their creative pieces at the Abbey in beautiful downtown.
Locals know the Abbey, as the community theater for live shows and to local artist it is the official venue for all RAWartist’s showcases.
The first showcase of the year was “Mixology” held on 7-12-12
Featured artists: Art: Drew Vaughan, Nelson Santiago, Barrett Biggers, Tiffany Beasi, James Kruse, Delightfully Askew, Parker Sketch Art, Jessilyn Park, Hope Lugo, Crummy Gummy - Performing Art: Nathan “Jester” Rethemeyer - Photography: Daniella Koontz, Stephanie Kruse - Fashion: Like A Pistol*Retro, Francis Prachthauser, Deanna Choinski - Music: I woke up early for my funeral, Jamie Charoen - Make-up: Shannon Holt
Showcase # 2 was “Radiate Orlando” held on 8-9-12
Featured artists: Art: Jaime Torraco, Michaela Rose, Danny Rock, Gigi Croom, Celeste Danielle, Christopher Reason, Tiffany J. George, Courtney Tinnesz, Loki Ryeland, Christopher M. W. Johnson, Anthony DelBuono - Photography: Omalix, Melissa Drewry, Nicholas Butler - Fashion: LC Wallace - Music: Stockholm, Jacob Jeffries Band, the Normandy - Make-up: Shannon Holt - Hair: Nina R Lopez
Showcase # 3 was “Ensemble” held on 9-20-12
Featured artist: Art: D. Renee Wilson, TSheree Art, Danielle Hein, Ernie (Arson) Turner, Rafael Sarduy, Bill Morrisey, JT Smalley, Victoria Taylor, Brown-Eyed, Sasha Marie Kotellos - Performing Art: Juliene - Photography: Ian Roth, Jacob, Don E, Thuy Vi Gates - Fashion: Love + Leather by Renee - Music: Evan Taylor Jones, Beth Vandal - Make-up: Christelsie, Shannon Holt - Hair: Eva G. Reed
Showcase # 4 was “Provocations” held on 10-11-12
Featured artist: Art: Tony Velez, Liana Kangas, Carel Luis, Santos, Joy Kelley, Josh Otterbacher, StephWood, Lemus, Bianca Roman-Stumpff, Artysta LuLu - Photography: Liquid Butterfly Photography – Fashion: Heather VanEtten/The Neon Cat - Music: Carly Jo Jackson, Malayerba, Emily Kopp, Britt Daley – Make-up: Shannon Holt, Lipstick Mixtapes, TransMUte – Hair: Angel Cardona – Film: Trent Duncan
Showcase # 5 was the “Semi-Finals” held on 11-8-12.
This event featured the top 3-5 local nominees of each craft. Then the local community along with three local judges (invited by RAW) to cast a live vote. These votes determine who will represent Orlando in the RAWards Finals in Hollywood, CA.
Local judges: Cindy LaFronz, Ron Legler, and Erin Sullivan
Featured artists of the year include:
Art: D. Renee Wilson, Danielle Hein, Bill Morrisey, JT Smalley, Josh Otterbacher
Fashion: Like A Pistol*Retro, Deanna Choinski, LC Wallace
Accessories: Francis Prachthauser, Love + Leather by Renee, Heather VanEtten/The Neon Cat
Filmmaker: Trent Duncan
Hairstylist: Nina R. Lopez, Eva G. Reed, Angel Cardona
Make-up: Christelsie, TransMUte, Shannon Holt
Musician: Evan Taylor Jones, Beth Vandal, the Normandy, Carly Jo Jackson, Britt Daley
Performing art: Nathan “Jester” Rethemeyer, Juliene
Photographer: Daniella Koontz, Omalix, Thuy Vi Gates, Melissa Drewry, Nicholas Butler
Last but definitely not least, showcase # 6 was the “Holiday Rawk” held on 12-8-12. Of all the events this is a personal favorite, mainly because the inspiration generates from the holiday spirit of giving and thinking of each other. As RAW's final showcase for 2012, Rolfe definitely had a few surprises prepared.
Featured artists: Art: Parker Sketch Art, Matt Wilson, Lemus, Bianca Roman-Stumpff, Chantel Rodriguez, Shauna Jackson, Erica Tuttle, ChronicDamageArt, Luce Sky, Rob Courtenay - Photography: Josie Brooks, Karen Rashelle, Carolyn Hutchins - Music: JD Velez, Cut And Dry, Joseph Allen White - Film: Joshua Terranova - Fashion: Anne Benson - Hair: Avi
To find out more about any of the artists included in this article, use this link to navigate through each showcase to locate the artist’s bio and social networks: www.rawartists.org/showcases
It’s really inspiring both emotionally and creatively.. Ashlie Rolfe
Of course, I could go on about every inspirational detail RAWartist has to offer, but then I'd give everything away. As a natural born artist myself, we tend to like a little mystery from time to time, stay connected for the first showcase launch of 2013!