RAW: Giving New Artists Exposure

Redball Project on St. Laurent. Artist Kurt Perschke. Photo Magali Crevier Redball Project on St. Laurent. Artist Kurt Perschke. Photo Magali Crevier

Whether you are an artist yourself, or know one, one thing is true: despite the passion, creativity, and drive behind an artistic endeavour, it is really hard to be known for it. No matter the field – dance, photography, visual art, fashion, music, or film – creating art means incredible dedication and sacrifice. It means working two or three part time jobs (or just one and living on ramen and with five roommates) just so you can pay your bills and finance your own artistic work, which requires even more of your time. Why? Because unless you make it “big”, creating art pays squat. So why do it all? Because natural artists don’t have a choice in the matter; it is as necessary as breathing. Wouldn’t it be nice if all that passion, dedication, and sacrifice had even the teensiest amount of recognition?

This is where RAW comes in. It recognizes the difficulty that emerging artists have in trying to find opportunities to show their work, aka their blood, sweat, and tears. Even better, if gives an opportunity for new artists from a very wide range of disciplines to come together, make connections, sell some work, and possibly collaborate to create future art. It also makes for a great experience for us, the spectator. The first RAW show was in 2011 in Los Angeles and has spread like wildfire to the rest of the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, and Canada, including right here in Montreal on Thursday, September 24 with its latest edition called BOLD at La Tulipe, and MERGE at the same location on October 22.

A typical show will include a short film, a fashion show, a musical performance, hair and makeup models, some dance, and visual art everywhere! There is also a cash bar to support the host venue, so don’t forget to peruse with drink in hand; it feels so fancy!

If you want to become a RAW artist, well, you’re in luck as applying for the shows is really easy. You can submit your work to their website and as long as you are sincere, professional, and serious about your work, you stand a very good chance of having your day in the sun. The organizers try to provide variety in their exhibitions and they hand pick which groups of artists would complement each other the most. So, even if you don’t get a show right away, be patient! They are also actively scout for interesting, new work by attending events such as art fairs, symposiums, concerts, and fashion shows in order to give them even more exposure. So, keep your eye out!

Interested in attending? Buy your tickets online from RAW’s website HERE. Ticket sales before the event go directly to the artist you wish to support otherwise they are a little more expensive and go to support RAW. Either way, you’ll be doing a good thing. Art is what makes the world beautiful; help those who make it.

The upcoming RAW event at La Tulipe (4530 Papineau) takes place on October 22 from 6:30 p.m. to 11:45 p.m. and features 30 emerging artists including Marc Vidal, Kevin Pinvidic, Tracy Guiteau, and Burlesque Pop. $15 pre-sale, $20 at door.