Jo Anne Kotlowski
Credit: Taylor Bolding

With chapters in more than 65 U.S. locations nationwide, the international, independent organization known as Raw hosts its first Oklahoma City show Thursday. The group was created in 2009 to increase visibility and resources for local, independent artists.

According to Rachel Hernandez, co-director with Staci Campbell for Raw in OKC, the monthly shows will feature as many as 25 such artists across a spectrum of media.

“We hope to have visual and performance art, music, a DJ, fashion design, and hair and make-up artists at every show,” Hernandez said.

At Thursday’s show, Solstice, , artists include Jessica Brown, Jack Fowler, Lindsay Liu and Zach Burns. Music will be provided by Defining Times; fashion, from Boho Gypsy.

“We want to work with top-notch galleries like IAO,” Hernandez said, noting the goal is not to replace local arts organizations, but to work with them. “They have excellent local artists, and we hope to feature some of them.”

The Raw model focuses on independent artists in the first 10 years of their career. When Campbell and Hernandez discovered the group was looking for OKC leadership, they leaped at the opportunity; both have backgrounds in arts and event planning in the metro, and loved the idea of giving local talent a larger audience.

“What I love about Raw is that it is an international platform for our favorite Okie artists,” Hernandez said, adding that once curated, each artist earns the opportunity to show his or her work at other Raw locations.

The group also sponsors an annual awards show in Hollywood.

“The event is huge and outrageous,” Hernandez said, “and I am confident we will have artists in the finals reppin’ OKC.”

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