“Our mission is to help the starving artist succeed,” said founder Heidi Luerra in the group’s welcome video. “We believe that every artist deserves to be seen, heard and loved.”
Every month, RAW showcases independent artists at events around the city. Artists include those in film, fashion, music, fine art, performing art, hair, makeup, DJs, modeling, photography, accessories and more. At each event, artists gain exposure to other artists in their community as well as media, industry professionals and the public.
Operating in 20 cities nationwide, the organization strives to provide tools, resources, exposure and education for emerging artists. RAW handpicks artists from online submissions or through online and in-person scouting. Sara Wilwerding, RAW San Diego’s event director, said she tries to attend at least three events per week, from local music shows to comedy events in the hopes of finding local talent.
Chosen artists are then grouped together with artists of other genres for the monthly showcase. The artists perform, demonstrate or display their work, and are presented with a professionally made video and photos for use in promoting their art. Their work receives month-long web marketing on RAW’s website, and a profile that resides indefinitely on the website for continuous networking.
“Once they are a RAW artist, they are always a RAW artist,” Wilwerding wrote in an email, “and a part of our ever-growing network and family.”
With a season running from February through October every year, the showcases are open to the public ($10 ticket price) and culminate in an annual awards show in Hollywood, for which communities are invited to vote for their top five favorite artists.
Spectators at showcases can expect to see anything from a short film, fashion show and musical performance to a fine art gallery show, performance by comedians or dancers and a makeup demonstration.
On June 23, RAW San Diego will have its monthly showcase, at The Ivy Nightclub at the Andaz Hotel, 600 F St. For more information, visit www.rawartists .org/sandiego.
Arts, in brief
• San Diego Visual Arts Network (SDVAN) and FOCUS (Fashion Opportunities Connect US) teamed up about a year ago to embark on a “cross pollination” of fashion and art. Bringing together 11 teams made up of an artist, a fashion designer, an educator and a documenter, the project sought to create unique collaborative pieces and highlight San Diego’s artistic talent while involving teens in the process. Culminating in a fashion show on April 28 and a public opening on May 6, the teams also showcased their efforts at individual shows, the last of which was held May 21 at Space4Art, 325 15th St. Every project was documented by a videographer, photographer or writer and involved an educator, who brought the project into the classroom and, when possible, included teens in the creative process. Several of the exhibits are still open for public viewing.
• Bankers Hill resident JT Bruce recently completed and screened “Strange Matter,” his short film delving into the themes of crime and chaos on the eve of the apocalypse. Combining live action, animation and stop motion and set to a full orchestral soundtrack, the film took two and a half years to complete. Bruce wrote and directed the film and created all of the music and animated sequences, using Super 16 film for live action scenes to create a 1980s look. Bruce screened the film recently at the U31 bar in Northpark and will be submitting it to several film festivals in the coming months.
• On June 22, the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego will host the “Summer Solstice Soiree,” toasting the official beginning of summer with local food and drinks. Following a cocktail reception featuring drinks from Craft and Commerce and El Dorado and including art-making activities, guests will partake in a dinner party surrounded by artist Jennifer Steinkamp’s exhibit, “Madame Curie.” The meal will be prepared by Stone Brewing World Bistro and Gardens, and each course will be paired with a seasonal Stone Brewing Company beer.
The event was created by members of Avant Garde, MCASD’s newest special interest group geared toward art enthusiasts and 40-something or younger professionals.
Tickets are $125, or $75 for Avant Garde members. Proceeds will benefit education programming at MCASD. For tickets or more information, visit www.mc- asd.org or contact Rob Sherer at (858) 454-3541, ext. 162 or email@example.com.