When you see the word raw what comes to mind? Natural? Fresh? They are the two words that come to mind when I think of Philadelphia’s, RAW Showcase, hosted by Erin Como. (Full disclosure: Erin works with me at NBC10).
Once a month, artists gather at the G Lounge and put their unique talents on display, whether it’s film, fashion, music, art, photography, make-up/hair, modeling, or performing arts. As soon as you enter the room you are welcomed with a multitude of different artists prepping for their showcase. There’s always a musical performance, models getting in place for the fashion show, an art gallery starring local artist, drinks, friends, and fun.
Philadelphia City Director, Frederick Calalang, describes RAW as "embracing, inspiring, and fulfilling.“
"My favorite thing about RAW is watching the connections between different artists happen, it’s by far the most valuable thing," says Calalang.
You can find RAW in 21 cities across the United States. First-timer Keisha Cortez, a make-up artist, is thrilled to be a part of this. She saw her first showcase in Portland.
“At RAW you connect and meet with other artist," says Cortez. "It’s amazing for the arts in-general, I love the whole thing.”
Artists connecting and growing are two things RAW is passionate about.
Model Sally Wong’s favorite thing about RAW is how it exposes people who aren’t in the mainstream. Moore College of Art and Design, student Amber Callahn, couldn’t agree more.
“RAW is a good way for the community to come together and show their work, including the public,” says Callahn.
Amber Callahn and Sally Wong
Another artist who caught my eye was Erin McGee Fernell. She loves to paint in a tourist populated Philadelphia/South Jersey location, while wearing a fabulous ball gown.
“My favorite thing about painting in the public is when people are a part of the process of my paintings and seeing stories happen while I’m painting," says Fernell.
Erin McGee Fernell
The room was filled with a mixture of RAW veterans and newcomers, like Ian Brandt and photographer Michael Jazul. One of Ian’s favorite things about RAW is the venue.
“The venue is really geared toward artists," says Jazul. You get your own space, video, pictures, and interviews, and great exposure.”
Michael also enjoys the opportunity of his work being exposed to the public.
What can you expect when you attend RAW Showcase? Not only will you find a huge group of talented, original, artists, of different genres. You’ll also be in an atmosphere full of creativity, inspiration, and pure fun.