After its third showcase in Boise, RAW has proven that the Boise art scene is more than capable of packing a venue, even on a Thursday night.
“There’s fucking phenomenal artists in Boise,” said Dylan Haas, who has emceed all of Boise’s RAW events thus far. “I only wish they’d move these to the weekend. Maybe a Friday night. That’s when people are really in party-mode.”
Boiseans arrived at the Powerhouse for RAW Mixology ready to party, despite the looming workday. The event featured 15 local artists displaying their work in mediums ranging from canvas to film to fashion.
Haas admitted that he was skeptical of such an event’s potential in the Treasure Valley, but ceased doubting after attending RAW’s inaugural artist showcase in May.
“It’s surprising how well-received it’s been,” he said, as a crowd lined up waiting for the Powerhouse’s doors to open. “It’s been packed every time.”
Exhibits by 11 featured artists were displayed throughout the venue, which is more than the events usually showcase, according to Amy Johnson-Myers, the Boise director for RAW. She is already looking into the possibility of finding a larger venue, which would provide space for even more artists.
Of the evening's four scheduled performance artists, Boise's Whale! took the stage first. Commanding the audience’s immediate attention with a loud and heavy baseline, Whale! cranked out rocking pop for a large group of dancing fans that steadily grew throughout the set. Even the few attendees hanging near the bar and searching for the bottoms of their drinks couldn’t ignore the band for long.
After a short break, Ryan Bayne stepped up to the mic with a guitar and harmonica. Sporting a straight suit that wouldn’t be out of place in church, Bayne delivered a growling country baritone reminiscent of Johnny Cash, but infused it with a more modern rasping rock vibe. During Bayne’s set, the lure of cocktails and conversation became too great for the crowd that had gathered near the stage, which dispersed as attendees mingled and weaved between the exhibits spread throughout the space.
A short film by Troy Custer followed and recaptured the audience’s attention. Closure told a silent story of two young women revealed to be disposing of a body, and the film’s stunning visuals and surprise ending drew gasps from the crowd.
RAW Mixology’s performance art showcase concluded with a preview of Tod Alan’s collection slated for Boise Fashion Week. Models clad in Alan’s unique designs and black masks gathered onstage, where he teased and cut their hair before sending them down the catwalk. For his final piece, Allen spray-painted black streaks on a white wedding dress, allowing the audience to see a part of the creative process and adding to the performance aspect of his show.
“It is what it is,” said Alan of his collection. “It’s whatever you see. Every designer is different. [The collection] is all visual.”
For a slideshow of the event, click here.