Saturday, June 22, 2024
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RAW: One Year Older

This Month’s Theme: ELEVATION

Tyler Ackom Art
Tyler Ackom’s art

West Orlando News Online (WONO) and Artist’s Square (AS) extend a happy one year anniversary to RAW. Not only did this collection of creative arts at The Downtown Abbey make an explosive impression at this once-a-month event, but according to many of the artists we had the privilege of speaking with, the collaboration was on spot.

The evening began with a greeting from Showcase Director, Ashlie Rolfe, a down-to-earth individual whose sole purpose it to put the spotlight on all the artists at this event. She proudly defined the theme as an elevation to the idea behind RAW; an independent arts organization of creative ideas, talent, music, fashion, photography and art. She was proud that a full year of successful turnaround has gone by, and it is only a confirmation of what her and the staff believes is an event mapped in the heart of Orlando. We truly agree….

Exhibited at the entrance were impressive canvases of 3d music sculptures and paintings, by artist Tyler Ackom. He combines his two pronounced passions since high school: music and art. When asked about the details of his work, he states, “I custom-build the frames, the backing boards and use mechanical and natural materials to create my pieces.” A testimony that hard work and creativity can be pretty rewarding…

Derek's Dream by Felicia Roberts
Derek’s Dream by Felicia Roberts

The photographic works of Holly Whelden Carpenter were display, as she believes in capturing moment and places that are from the heart. Felicia Roberts, mixed media artist, expressed intellectual thoughts behind her work, carefully choosing the media behind her expressions. We spoke with AnaYelsi Sanchez, an artist who uses mostly acrylic with some mixed media. When asked about her work she stated, “All my work has a political and social commentary aspect to it. I have been working in non-profit for about 5 years with a lot of anti-human trafficking, women’s rights work and LGBT advocacy groups.”

We spoke with Gabrielle Alicea, a diversified artist of paint, drawing and designs. Her inspiration comes from her mother who pushes her when she needs it. We also met a driven Photographer of 5 years named, Jason Bassett. He plans on showcasing his work in Miami and Atlanta next month.

As the night went on, we were entertained by models with bold, yet unique expressions, showcasing the vintage-inspired art by Christine Colbourne. We also met an artist with a very lively personality by the name of Paul Phillips, Founder of Hard Bodies Yo. Certainly a catchy name that can break any barrier during an introduction, as I believe we exchanged a few poses stating this company name a few times….. His artwork uniquely displayed ceramic torso handmade castings from live models. He has completed work in various events and artwork displayed in New Orleans. And lastly we were entertained by models displaying paint and body art by Mandi Ilene who has been doing body painting for 5 years and teaches children art for art camps.

Christine Colbourne
Christine Colbourne

If you haven’t joined a RAW event, please take the time to visit one. You will be amazed on how much work the artists put into what they do. With my subtle suggestion, the best experience is to speak to the artists and understand the meaning behind their work. Even if you don’t know much about them or even art, they are eager to talk and delve into the thoughts they put into what they do.

Gabriella Alicia's Art
Gabriella Alicia’s art

Each unique. Each inviting us into their heart, into the marrow of their soul.

Images By:
Nancy Rodriguez, Artist’s Square Media Arts

Racquel Cruz
Founder, Artist’s Square
WONO Creative Spotlight
Contact Me: [email protected]


Paul Phillips' art
Paul Phillips’ art

Holly Whelden Photography

Jason Bassett's work
Jason Bassett’s work

Felicia Roberts

Paul Phillips

Jason Bassett

Christine Colbourne

Tyler Ackom

Gabrielle Alicea

Mandi Ilene

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