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RAW Dallas Throws Rowdy Art Parties, But Who You Buy Your Ticket Through Matters

What happens when you take live music, a fashion show and an indie film screening and shove the whole package into the Lizard Lounge? Well, that's effectively what's happening Friday at Panorama, the latest in a series of events thrown by RAW Dallas, a branch of the Los Angeles based, RAW: Natural Born Artists.

The event will feature more than forty aspiring local artists, from painters and fashion designers to dancers and make-up artists. Every month, RAW runs the artistic gamut to bring a little bit of everything to these showcases. And while these artists haven't found professional footing yet - showing at galleries or booking consistent paying gigs - the spectrum of work on display and the natural talent is impressive.

Adam Anderson, president and creative director of SiHK Brothers, is a perfect example of the kind of eclectic variety that Panorama is set to deliver.

His organization, SiHK Brothers, is an "artistic production company," that melds dance, acting, and music into a single production. "[RAW Dallas] invited us out to showcase our work and I was like 'What exactly can we showcase?'" Anderson says. "They kind of just gave us free reign to do what ever we wanted on stage, so that's what we're doing. It's pretty cool."

"Where else can you get a bunch of amateur or professional artists who might never have had their work seen all together," photographer, Sabine Fletcher says. "It's a great opportunity for people to network and get their artwork out when there is no other way to get it seen besides social media, which seems a bit of a cheap way to show your hard work."

Thanks to RAW, artists like Fletcher and Anderson will be showcasing their work in a way unlike your average theater production of gallery show. Panorama is set to be just as raucous as any night at Dallas' iconic reptilian lounge, complete with fully stocked bars, DJ Mike B and more.

But RAW is bigger than just this annual Dallas shindig.

The organization started in 2005, as the brainchild of, then aspiring fashion designer, Heidi Luerra. She started organizing these "multi-faceted showcases" as a way of getting artists like her some much-needed recognition. The trade-off is that artists have to sell at least 20 tickets apiece to present work (otherwise they aren't allowed to see their art to fruition), which makes these events a cross between a Kickstarter campaign for the artists and a fundraiser for the event organizers. They invite the artists, the artists find a way to fund their entry into the event, and RAW collects the check. In turn, the artists receive exposure they might not have otherwise. And each year, these RAW events continue to grow so they must be onto something.

Now RAW holds showcases in over 60 cities in the world, all in the name of cultivating budding artists. By giving them a place to show and sell their work RAW provides a valuable service to artists who might fall by the wayside or who are unable to break into the gallery scene.

"There are so many different ways you can go with art right now," Owner of WAAS Gallery and host of Panorama, Brandy Adams said. "You have your fine artists, that are working towards MFAs and meeting industry standards ... and then you also have your working artists, who might not be able to afford college or special professors or teachers."

She believes that the Dallas art scene needs organizations like RAW, to provide confidence and experience to the future of the art landscape in Dallas. "RAW is an amazing opportunity for people that want to start their careers, or who are already working their careers, and want to sell and be a part of a movement," Adams said.

The showcase starts at 7 p.m. and goes to midnight June 20, at the Lizard Lounge. Tickets will be $20 at the door, but if you want to support a specific artist, you'll have to buy tickets in advance on the Web site through that artists' ticket page. And take note, this event is 21+ only. It's a big night for these artists, so come down, have a drink and watch the madness begin. For more information on this event and upcoming RAW showcases visit