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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at U Ottawa chapter.

What happens when you take a crazy talented group of painters, jewellery makers, singers, photographers, makeup artists, and hair stylists? An explosive night of creativity!

Her Campus U Ottawa was lucky enough to be invited to the first ever RAW Ottawa event that took place a few weeks ago. RAW is an independent organization that is made for artists by artists. They welcome all genres of art that includes independent film, fashion, music, visual art, performing art, hairstylists, makeup artists and more. RAW events are international and happen in cities all over Canada, Australia, U.S.A, and most recently, in London.

When local painter Talhia McNeil heard that RAW was hoping to host an event in Ottawa, she decided to apply to organize the event. When I was able to chat with her for a few minutes at the event, she told us that she decided to organize this event because as an artist herself, she knows how frustrating it is to get noticed, and she thought this was a creative way of bringing together many talented artists. McNeil said she’s hoping that there will be bi-monthly RAW events in Ottawa where tons of local talent will be able to be featured.

The event was held at Mansion nightclub and featured roughly 15 artists with various showcases. Mansion provided a swanky and sophisticated backdrop for the evening with the various artists spread out over the two floors (which included a catwalk on the main level for the fashion and musical portions of the evening). Mansion provided enough room for guests to mingle throughout the space to interact with artists and friends in between the musical acts. When we spoke to the owner of the club, Ilon Tyan, he said that he had been familiar with the concept of RAW before he agreed to host the showcase and thought it would be an amazing event to host because he’s a fan of hosting unique events.

I thought this was a great event to attend and want to thank Amir, from Babes & Gents, for inviting us to check it out. Interacting with so many talented artists from Ottawa was a great experience and all of us at Her Campus U Ottawa can’t wait for the next RAW event to happen in Ottawa! If you are interested in attending a RAW event, check out the upcoming events page here to find out where the next event is happening.

If you’re looking for some new and raw talent in Ottawa, check out some of our favourite artists that were featured:

Nathalie Van: Painter

Nathalie’s work features abstract, contemporary, modern, and Asian inspired designs. My favourite piece that Nathalie showcased was a beautiful cherry blossom piece that spanned four canvases. Nathalie creates custom designs that would look beautiful in any home. Visit her Etsy shop here.

Melnick-MacDonald Designs: Jewellery Designer

You can find Chris’ beautiful and unique work on his Etsy shop here. His pieces are nickel free and he uses recycled copper! We love that he can still create beautiful pieces without harming the planet!

Babes & Gents: Fashion

We love the energy that Babes & Gents brings to every event they make an appearance at! Throughout the entire fashion show, the streetwear styles and gorgeous models captivated the audience. Throughout the entire set the cameras did not stop flashing from the various press and audience members. To check out more from Babes & Gents, click here.

Amir’s speech before his showcase!

Fun Fact: We caught up with one of the models and friends of Amir (the man behind Babes & Gents), Lily, and she told us that one of Amir’s passions in high school was painting! When we chatted with Amir later on we asked him to comment on that and he said that his paintings are where his creativity stems from and this is how he gets inspired to create clothing for Babes & Gents!

Lily posing before the showcase


Contributions by: Amber Gillan 

Sources:  www.rawartists.org

Photos: Courtesy of Her Campus U Ottawa

Zoe Crego

U Ottawa '17

Zoë held the position of President of Her Campus at uOttawa from 2015-2017 and was a Senior Chapter Advisor. She graduated from the University of Ottawa in 2017 and has pursued a career in the Canadian federal public service. She is very grateful to Her Campus for providing a creative outlet while studying and believes her experience with Her Campus helped her grow professionally and personally.