Chicago artists and designers compete at RAWards Semi-Finals

RAW: natural born artists 2011 showcase season came to a conclusion and Semi-Finals RAWards took place, where voted top 5 artists in 9 different categories competed for a chance to go to nationals.

RAW: natural born artists is an independent arts organization that provides support to emerging talent. Hosting collaborative showcases from February to October, RAW has been featuring artists and designers from around Chicago area.

For each showcase RAW hand-selects and spotlights independent creatives in visual art, film, fashion, music, hair, makeup artistry and photography. At the end of the season the featured artists were legible to be nominated for the Artist of the Year Award.

The fans and public were allowed to vote for their favorite artists and the top 5 voted in each category have been invited to Semi-Finals to compete for the title of the Artist of the Year. The winners then go to compete at nationals against artists from other cities.

On November 17, 2011 the nominees had presented their work for the final voting. Performing artists and musicians took the stage, taking turns with filmmakers whose pieces have been played on the TV screens. Photographers, visual artists and jewelry designers had their work displayed in allocated spots. And finally, fashion designers, makeup artists and hairstylists had their time in the spotlight on the runway.

Guests were given a series of stickers for each category and the voting was on. Moving quickly the stickers were exchanging hands and were given to the artists, which were sticking them on their boards. At the end of the night all the stickers were counted and winners announced.

And the winners of the Artist of the Year Award were:

Fashion Designer of the Year: Mended Mosaic. Founded in 2008 by husband and wife KC and Louie Mendicino, Mended Mosaic is a line of leather jackets that enables is wearer to balance function and desire.

Accessories Designer of the Year: Imaginary Girl. Sarah Emerick has been creating jewelry since 1999, making new things out of the old ones. Sarah creates wearable art, one of a kind pieces inspired by vintage and juxtaposition of different styles and eras.

Makeup Artist of the Year: Jane Doe Art. Born and raised in Chicago Jane Doe is a licensed Cosmetologist who specialized in special effects and high fashion.

Hairstylist of the Year: Mindy City Hair. Having experimented with her hair since a young age, Mindy moved on to doing her sisters’ and friends’ hair for special occasions and makeovers. Mindy is now doing hair professionally.

Photographer of the Year: Kamila Gornia. Discovering photography in 2007, Kamila has been experimenting with different styles and themes, often exploring edgy and dark concepts while getting bursts of strange ideas.

Visual Artist of the Year: Victoria Claus. An artist that predominantly works with sculptures made out of metal and found objects. Victoria’s inspiration comes from movement, architecture and people around her.

Performing Artist of the Year: Ammunition. Performing on the stages of Chicago since 2006, specializing in fire-eating, angle grinder and other pushing the limits acts. “Locked and loaded” to quote Ammunition, whose performance magnetized the audience.

Musician of the Year: Legend Has It. Chicago based band comprised of 7 members. Legend Has It was born in 2009 and incorporated a variety of sounds in their performance including guitar, trombone, trumpet, bass and drums.

Filmmaker of the Year: Iliya Gegov. Born and raised in Bulgaria, went to college in Indiana and studied in Prague, Iliya now works in Chicago.

Media crew:
Video Reporter – Ashley Saunders
Event Video – Tony Rizzo and Erika Barreto
Event Photography – Julian Favela

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