I typically think of art shows as being small, intimate gatherings of tortured intellectuals and wealthy collectors, not “art markets,” with live music and a fashion show.
However, this month RAW natural born artists, a self-described “art collective for artists,” will host a show exclusively set on displaying local Seattle artists, christened SPECTRUM. The event, while open to the public, will cater mostly to the needs of the artists themselves, as the mission of RAW is to serve up-and-coming artists in having their work recognized on a larger scale.
The show, which takes place at The Showbox on Thursday, April 17, will be an evening of entertainment that aims to reach beyond any one artistic medium. According to the show’s website, the evening will be chock full of fun activities and visual stimulants. With hints of a Cirque-de-Soleil of artistic mediums and expressions, the show will feature three live bands, dancers and a live fashion show.
Patrons of the event are encouraged to peruse the art gallery, observe hair and makeup stylists, as well as attend a film screening and fashion show.
“We’re very excited about the show,” said Melissa Shipley, the Seattle director for RAW. “Most of the featured artists are new to the scene and it’s exciting to give them the opportunity to showcase their work at a larger venue like The Showbox.”
In speaking about the show itself, Shipley pointed out that RAW accepts no commission for the event. “It’s 100 percent profit for the artists. We’re really hoping they can grow and network at the event, and make connections amongst each other.”
RAW selects its artists based on local scouting and those who join the collective online. By allowing young artists to profile and brand themselves, the collective aims to showcase their work in a way that promotes and benefits them. “It’s really all about the artist,” Shipley said.
Jessica Flatt is one of the artists showcasing work at the Seattle event.
“I am a fine art, landscape, and conceptual artist,” Flatt said. “My work is all about the dreams I imagine and the places I have traveled to.”
Flatt further discussed her appreciation for the collective and its work. “Having a place where you combined all forms of art in one location is amazing and what I love about RAW,” she said.
Artist Dani Dodge is another Seattle artist showcasing work at SPECTRUM.
“My work is colorful, unlike the sky out here sometimes, but the whimsical tones of each piece are plenty to keep me entertained,” Dodge said.
A painter by trade, Dodge also works in the “fringe-theater scene” in Seattle. Having done work with RAW in the past, Dodge noted: “I love how diverse the categories are. I remember working with a photographer and I worked on hair and makeup; we did some pretty creative things, so I’m not surprised at the abundance of artists focusing on those mediums, and they totally deserve the notice.”
Dean Robertson is one of the fashion designers whose work will populate the event. According to Shipley, the designers will be featuring their work in a sort of “accessory market” where attendees will peruse the work, and purchase things at their leisure.
Robertson uses mostly recycled wood from woodworking schools to construct jewelry.
“This is eco-friendly jewelry that is light weight, organic, but still elegant. It’s different, it’s mysterious, it’s made for you,” Robertson said.
The artists and producers of the show are excited about unveiling new artists to the Seattle art scene. Indeed, unearthing promising talent and providing room for growth from that talent is the mission of RAW.
SPECTRUM will be premiering at The Showbox on April 17 from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. The event is for 21+, and tickets are available online or through the artists involved for $15.