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Shuttered factories, abandoned warehouses and boarded up store fronts are being re-purposed as galleries and performance spaces by people with passion and vision. Art From the Ground Up was created to provide a showcase for some of the most innovative members of Pittsburgh’s emerging arts community.00000176-e6f7-dce8-adff-f6f7706f0000Art From the Ground Up is hosted by Bob Studebaker and is a monthly series highlighting small grass roots arts organizations and individual artists that take non-traditional approaches to the creation, presentation, and even the definition of art.Know an organization Bob should check out? Email him with your suggestions.

RAW/Pittsburgh Brings Art Together

Kristy Dubinsky, from Irwin, recently walked through the RAW/Pittsburgh exhibition enjoying the diverse collection of emerging artists.

“There’s definitely a collaborative nature and aspect to this,” Dubinsky said.  “They bring together everything from fashion to music to fine art, photography, film.  It’s just a great way to bring everybody together.”

The organization is an offshoot of an idea that began in Los Angeles and has grown to include cities across America and in several other countries. The group’s stated mission is: to provide independent artists in the first ten years of their careers with the tools, resources and exposure needed to inspire and cultivate creativity. RAW/Pittsburgh does this by providing a venue for an eclectic mix of artists to showcase their work to the public while interacting with their contemporaries.

Karen Hays, from the North Hills, enjoys not just the variety of presenters but finds it “a nice night out” and “an interesting venue to be a part of.”

According to Ryah Issa, production assistant for RAW/Pittsburgh, the concept began in Los Angeles with a fashion designer who “wanted a bigger platform to show her work.”  She added some other artists to one of her own showcases to attract a larger number of people.

From there the idea took off and spread to other cities.

“This is a way to bring people from all corners of Pittsburgh together,” Showcase manager Leigh Yock said.

RAW/Pittsburgh gives each individual artist a much larger crowd than they could have attracted on their own and it also gives young artists a chance to exchange ideas with their peers.

The group’s final 2013 presentation will be an awards evening at Cavo nightclub in the Strip District, Friday, November 22.

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