Home' In The City : In the City - Summer - 2013 Contents 039
In one corner two street artists collaborate on a
psychedelic masterpiece. In another, a hairdressing
display is in the works. It's hard to know where to look
as you wander through Academy surrounded by circus
performers and dancers, the walls decorated with stalls
selling the handiwork of Canberra's emerging artists.
RAW Canberra, a collective of independent artists, was launched
in September. Its first showcase was sold out, attracting 650
people to Academy.
It was brought to life by showcase director Sarina del Fuego,
who describes RAW's atmosphere as "lively and exciting".
"My favourite thing is seeing not only artists display, but actually
creating live art at the event," she says.
"For the launch we had an amazing hair artist, Leslie Henshaw
from Bond Hair do a live hair art display with 10 models."
"It gives a chance for people to get extra creative on the night
and for the general punters to see what they really do, and they
can see the work in progress. It displays the talent and you can
actually see the work being created. Being able to cross-promote
on different levels, they're able to sell their work, they're able to
draw or spray paint something and sell it that night as well."
RAW began in Los Angeles in 2005. Frustrated with the results
from weekend swap meets, fashion designer Heidi Luerra
gathered up her artistic friends -- who were equally frustrated
with venue hire costs and expensive gallery commissions -- and
threw her first multi-faceted showcase.
"It grew from there," del Fuego says.
"They invited bands along and fashion designers and then it
grew into what is known as RAW today. It spread to Canada,
Hawaii and Australia last year in Brisbane. I joined up with
RAW in April and went up to Brisbane and met with the group
"We're not in it for profit, we're in it to gain exposure for local
artists and promote them as much as we possibly can."
Canberra is one of more than 80 RAW locations across the
globe and aims to showcase its artists once every two months.
Creatives of all disciplines are encouraged to get involved. The
event already features fashion, music, dance, accessory design,
photography, make-up artistry and short film.
"We want to support people who are really good at what they
do, but don't have the business side down pat," del Fuego says.
"The promotion and the marketing is what we really help in,
getting them involved straight from the beginning and then
they get experience on how to promote themselves and how to
sell themselves as an artist and the event is a big part of it. But
behind the scenes and working up to it is a really good process
Del Fuego says RAW is a supportive community offering artists
a profile page on the website and opportunities beyond the
showcases and they're always on the lookout for emerging
"I think Canberra's that interesting place where people are
government workers by day and moonlight as something else by
night," she says.
"I think there is a lot of talent in Canberra that I haven't found
From accessory design to hip-hop dancing, there's a new
collective in town bringing Canberra's most creative people
together to showcase their work. By RACHEL PACKHAM
RAW Canberra artists not only have
the opportunity to connect with other
locals and gain exposure throughout
the city but they can also tap into a
global network of artists.
The showcase runs in more than
80 locations across the US, Canada,
Europe and Australia and aims
to provide artists with tools and
"We just want to network and
support the artists," del Fuego says.
"We do this online and offline by
bringing in a videographer and
photographer to every event."
When an artist does a RAW event in
Canberra, they can request to join in
on another RAW event anywhere in
RAW artists' online profiles allow
them to introduce themselves to the
world and showcase their work in
all mediums. They can connect with
other artists, post videos and music,
promote upcoming projects and track
If you're a film maker, performer,
designer or visual artists of any kind,
RAW is looking for people like you.
"We're always on the lookout," del
"I'm hoping for more fashion
designers because we've got great
fashion in Canberra and we'd like to
get that on stage."
Aspiring RAW artists can register
their interest on the website or
connect via the Facebook page.
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