Saturday, November 10, 2012

The 2012 RAWartists Semi-Finals come to Pomona

Michelle Herbert poses next to one of her designs
By Ariel Carmona Jr.

The 4th annual 2012 Indie Arts Raw Awards semi-finals took place on Thursday Nov. 8 at Luna Nightclub in Pomona, as a backdrop with its combined modern style and underground look. On this soggy night in early November, filmmakers, fashion designers, make-up artists, painters, photographers and artists from all genres showcased their best while the community voted for their city’s winners.

Portrait of a disturbed soul within by Liisa Kennedy
Judges included Mikey Jayy Program Director of KGUP 106.5 FM and host of “The Great Unknowns Presents,” Jesus Guillen celebrity stylist and designer from Jesse J. Collections, and Grasiela Rodriguez, artist and animator and member of the Pomona Cultural Arts. 

Body art by Maegan Brown
A mixture of sports bar atmosphere permeated the venue, with the sounds of an NFL Thursday game drowned out by a smorgasbord of local art pieces, including a hairstylist design complete with a barber’s chair seen tucked at one corner of the room while on the nearby stage, a giant speaker blared the sounds and jams of DJ Frankenstein.

Another display featured a myriad of paintings, canvas on benches and a collage of the Hollywood sign in various angles and positions structured to make a big piece entitled “The Only World We’ve Ever Known.” 

Representational, thematic, even body art were all on display.
In Air performing "Roadwork"
 Fashion designer Galeana took the award for its category. The Galeana design label is a tangible representation of designer Jose Galeana’s need for perception: He said being viewed literally or figuratively is what moves him as a designer.

Galeana was launched last fall and he said they have been with Raw since he started the company. “We’ve grown so much in a year, I wanted to come back and give back to what RAW gave to us, when I heard we were nominated, I was humbled and wanted to participate.”

Galeana added that despite the fact the designer’s label has been pulled for celebrities, appeared at the Grammy’s and been shot by recognized photographers Irvin Rivera, Giovanni Moran and Marc Jacobs, what makes the brand successful is recognizing the need to be close to their customers and to acknowledge their roots.
Kimberly Perez of Moonlit Art Studio

Other winners included: Cogito for music, Lawrence Balbuena for photography, Marco Antwon: hair stylist, Lexxxibelle: makeup, and Matthew Sanchez: visual artist.
Music winner Cogito

Inspired by a mixture of influences including art, graffiti and fashion, Obsessive Cool Disorder (OCD) founded by graphic designer Mitchell Bailey was one of the most visually arresting displays in the “accessories designer” nominee. Bailey said he loves to have fun with his design, using a blank shoe as a canvas and churning out sports themed designs as well as more eclectic pieces such as his iconic storm trooper helmet. 

Kimberly Gomez, a second year nominee for visual artist from Corona said she loves Walt Disney but called her designs a mixture of Disney and the dark world reminiscent of Tim Burton. She cited animated films and cartoons in general.
Design winner - OCD

“A lot of them are original characters inspired by real life people,” said Gomez while being sought out by fans and potential buyers. Though the main character in one of her ongoing art pieces is a zombie, she says she tries to keep most of her work kid friendly.

Carolina Rodriguez, art lover from Orange County originally from the Utah area said she is a frequent attendee at RAW events and explained the show’s appeal. “The thing is, I don’t think it’s really segregated, the art scene is everywhere and I really love this event, the people are really friendly and inviting.”

Photos by Lucky Smith









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