Will Bermudez, Graphic Designer, perfects his visual art display during RAW San Antonio January. Photo by Pixels Photographer Antonio Morano.
Will Bermudez, Graphic Designer, perfects his visual art display during RAW San Antonio January. Photo by Pixels Photographer Antonio Morano.

While it’s true that San Antonio is blessed with a strong backbone community of artists, many talented local artists find a discouraging lack of support, encouragement and outlets for exposure. It’s still difficult to generate new buzz and get the “outsiders” to buy what we are selling. Disappointment and low community self-esteem are therefore common for those that choose self-expression as a means of survival.

A common solution to this problem is to combine artistic outlets into a cross-promotional event – varying ingredients of visual, musical, culinary and even cocktailian craft. Events such as Creative Creatures at Limelight and Artslam at White Rabbit embody this classic idea: the more the merrier.

America Tru, belly and fire dancer, performs during RAW San Antonio in January. Photo by Pixels Photographer Antonio Morano.
America Tru, belly and fire dancer, performs during RAW San Antonio in January. Photo by Pixels Photographer Antonio Morano.

RAW, a Los Angeles-based indie arts organization for “natural born artists,” was founded on a similar idea in 2009.

Thursday March 27 at 7 p.m. doors open for the San Antonio chapter’s March installment, “Mosaic,” 7 p.m. at Backstage Live. It’s “cocktail attire” only and promises to be worth the effort.

Every month, RAW showcases local, underground, independent artists in film, fashion, music, art, performing art, hair, makeup, photography (and anything else you can think of) in more than 60 cities worldwide. RAW also hosts artists’ work online, connecting local artists to an international network.

Samantha Mazur is the showcase director for RAW in San Antonio and coordinates events every other month at Backstage Live.

“We saw and continue to see some amazing talent in San Antonio. We want to connect the community and see its creative culture thrive,” she said.

RAW’s mission is “to provide independent artists within the first 10 years of their career with the tools, resources and exposure needed to inspire and cultivate creativity.” Artists for each event are hand-selected through an extensive scouting process. RAW events regularly draw a crowd of about 500-700 people.

In addition to the exposure, each artist receives professional photos of themselves and their work and a video interview for their portfolio. These photos and video capture them as artists and allows them additional tools to promote themselves in the industry. Artists can later show their work at any of the affiliated RAW cities at any time.

“Bringing attention to somewhat unknown artists in the community really strengthens the local art scene. It is truly a unique opportunity to open doors for up incomers to grow,” said RAW host and local musician Jeannette Muniz.

Instead of a taking a percentage commission from works sold by the artist, each participant is asked to sell 20, $15 tickets to the event, which goes back to RAW for production costs.

More than 30 talented artists utilizing several artistic mediums will be featured tonight.

Michelle Corpe models body paint by Oscar Galvan Jr. during the RAW San Antonio in January. Photo by Pixels Photographer Antonio Morano.
Michelle Corpe models body paint by Oscar Galvan Jr. during the RAW San Antonio in January. Photo by Pixels Photographer Antonio Morano.

A full list of musical and dance performers, videographers, photographers, hair and makeup stylists, fashion designers and culinary artists can be found at www.rawartists.org/sanantonio.

The event will begin at 7:30 p.m. with live entertainment all night long. Cocktail attire is required. Purchase tickets here for $15 or $20 at the door.

Showcase Director Samantha Mazur notes the importance of the long-term effects of RAW, noting that, “RAW musicians have gone on to sign with major labels, our fashion designers have designed for Lady Gaga … been featured on Project Runway and our artists get into prestigious galleries.”

So add RAW to the list of opportunities San Antonian artists have to stretch within and beyond the local scene.

If you can’t make tonight’s event, the next RAW event, “Revolution,” is already scheduled for May 22.

*Featured/top image: Artist Will Bermudez, perfects his visual art display during RAW San Antonio in January. Photo by Pixels Photographer Antonio Morano.

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Melanie Robinson

Melanie Robinson is a San Antonian writer, poet and musician who currently works as the content writer for Tribu, a digital marketing firm, and freelances for the Rivard Report, San Antonio Current and...