So, who remembers back in July when I went to the RAW show? How many people arrive at my site by searching for information about RAW and whether its a scam? How many people have emailed me asking about it?

Really, the number isn’t important – just the fact that these things have happened.

Well, if you go to a Barnes and Noble and pick up a copy of Raine Magazine, you might notice my name under contributing writers, and then find two travel pieces (including photos) with my name attached. This should be the proof you need to know that RAW is indeed not a scam and perhaps worth your time.

Way back last July, I hung my work for one night at an exclusive, trendy Manhattan bar/lounge, not knowing that I would once again find myself in another place like it in September to celebrate the launching of Raine Magazine’s fall/winter edition.

As it turns out, I met someone who works for Raine at the Raw show. She happened to like my work and mention that to the editor – who then contacted me with story requests. It does happen sometimes.

Me at the Raine Magazine launch at Bar Basque in NYC, 9/29/2011
Caylena at the Raine Magazine launch at Bar Basque in NYC, 9/29/2011

So last night I attended a fancy gathering at the Bar Basque on 6th Ave and 29th St.

This party included contributors to Raine and its employees, as well as models, photographers, PR agents, and more! People dressed in everything from business attire, to jeans, to designer outfits – and more! The swanky party featured an open bar for the first hour and hosted its own fashion show! Wall-sized windows looked out upon the NYC streets, a courtyard next door, and a movie-theater sized screen on the building to the side showing what reminded me of the visualizations on Windows Media Player.

Overall the event was a success and ended with a transition to dance party and what would probably look like a typical night in the club – dancing, drinking, fashion, and bright lights shining on modern design-ey furniture!

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Meryl Pataky

    This is taken from another response of mine on a different website but I think it’s important that everyone hear both types of experiences with this organization and it seems like a lot of people have questions – I frequently get emails.

    AFter working with RAW, do you honestly see yourself going on to display your work in contemporary art galleries that will market your work to real world collectors and provide you with more than a video and a feature on a website? Yes, there are juried exhibitions and you have to “pay-to-play”, as you say, but this is paying for some of the highest respected curators, critics, artists, and grant organizations to look at your work. I absolutely do not place RAW in that category because frankly, I believe they have very little aesthetic sensibility. Their events are essentially night-club parties with a hodge-podgy mix of any type of art. Basically, anyone that is emerging, makes some type of art and will pay them to be involved can do these events – do you really, as an artist, want to put yourself on that boat? What other opportunities have sprung forward with serious, upstanding galleries? I urge you, and all artists, to do research on online marketing and to do it for yourself – it’s a great tool to reach out to art communities (this is free, you don’t need to pay to network). Ask these questions: what does an online feature on your website even mean? Am I really getting a lot of exposure here? Do they reach out to third party press affiliates to get interviews for you or do they direct ALL traffic to their website? How many hits does your homepage even get and does any of this traffic get back to your website? When I asked these questions, I was told they were not in front of my contact at RAW. This is offensive for these reasons: no artist should go into ANY show without a contract ESPECIALLY if they are paying to be involved. A contract lists out the responsibilities of each party and details the return on the artists investment for making the work, traveling for show etc. This includes information on the homepage feature and answering any artists’ questions about it. A simple email and phone call does not equal a signed statement. This is foolery on the part of any artists and as most showing and professional artists will tell you a horror story about how they learned from their mistake. Always get a contract and know what everything means! When I attempted to address these emails, my contact replied in an aggressive and all caps email stating, “it is not about an investment or a return thereof.” REALLY? For artists, it’s ALL about investment – as you have already stated above. We “pay our dues” to make our work, travel for show, websites, business cards etc – don’t we deserve a more than a sloppy negotiation and no contract? Or at the very least, answers to our questions? Any organization that would say that to an artist especially when they work with artists clearly doesn’t know their client or their audience. They behave like no upstanding gallery would. I urge all artists to do their own marketing and online networking. You don’t need to pay anyone to be involved in a community of artists – we are all over the internet and all talking about stuff.

    1. Caylena

      I believe you make valid points. However for me, RAW was a good thing. Even if it was “sloppy” or a “hodge podge” of any kind of art… I’m young enough that what I really needed was a confidence booster. I didn’t pay RAW to join, I had a combination of donations and guests, so I just paid for my artwork and my transportation. The networking I gained from this experience was ultimately both useful and useless. I wound up getting some articles and photos published in a national magazine, so now I can ALWAYS say that and it is great for my own resume and marketing. Also at the time I was unaware of legal things and contracts, so it didn’t bother me that I didn’t sign anything, but honestly, I have not had any problems, because I did not have high expectations for this. And ultimately, after this, I have done art shows on my own – mostly in cafes, but actually this December I will have a show in a local gallery for the first time. So, did that come from RAW? Yes and no. No because it was not through networking at RAW, but yes because it gave me the confidence booster I needed to believe that my work is good enough and worthy to be chosen to be shown in a gallery.

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