This past Wednesday night, the Pittsburgh art community and all its supporters partied hard and celebrated the talent of 60 artists, performers, and models in the RAW Artists showcase, OVATION.
RAW Artists is an international organization that serves as a platform for local artists to share their crafts/talent with the community. Their mission statement appropriately represents this message as they wish:
“To serve independent artists with tools, resources, education and exposure needed to thrive and succeed in their creative careers”
And with exhibits spanning Mexico, Australia, and the United States, the number of artists they support helps to propel a sense of community and foster lasting relationships in every city in which they create a show. Pittsburgh has been lucky enough to have been the location for multiple Raw showcases, but this week’s OVATION surpassed all past showcases with a record number of attendees and artists.
While patrons explored the various visual artists scattered through the multiple floors of the Strip District’s Xtaza Nightclub, music and dance groups such as Crystal Lee Morgan and the Thunderbirds, Lamar Riddick, and Jamal G. ft. the Collective provided ample entertainment. A truly heartwarming moment of the night included a song tribute to the victims of the Tree of Life shooting. Lamar Riddick encouraged everyone to light their phone flashlights and illuminate the crowd to show solidarity and love to those who lost their lives in the horrific tragedy.
The visual artists ranged from macramé artist (and Popular Pittsburgh Social Media Manager), Leah Segal, of Tangles & Twists Co., to Dark Star Designs Jewelry, and the incredibly talented painters, such as Modicasso and Tristan of TAPFX. The artists were posited throughout the multiple levels of Xtaza, which allowed patrons to become lost within the confines of an incredibly artistic maze. The plethora of art mediums allowed each artist a unique niche market and created a show in which everyone could find an artist that spoke to their creative soul.
The end of night brought forth the final wave of exceptional talent as 3 designers created fashion lines that were modeled down a runway, and an additional three artists showcased their hair and makeup creations. All the models truly worked the runway in everything from scantily clad, extra-terrestrial themed body paint, to Cirque de Soleil-esque nature regalia, and final catwalk of a drop-dead gorgeous lingerie line. Most importantly, the fashion lines were wonderfully inclusive, and showed the beauty and power of women of all shapes, sizes, color, and ability. RAW Artists’ showcasing of these artists serves to encourage the community (and the world) at large to reach outside the traditional standards of beauty and understand the incredible designers and models that lie outside of those bounds.
Overall, the night was a success and truly represents the diversity of Pittsburgh’s burgeoning cultural district. Artists, models, and musicians across multiple platforms shared their art with Pittsburgh patrons of all ages, backgrounds, and interests while continuing to build a support system of local relationships and encouraging people to shop locally. And for those who missed out on the event, RAW Artists has just announced their return to Pittsburgh in February of 2019 for the REFLECT showcase.