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Intimate art on display at the RAW Art Exhibition

Calling all art makers and appreciators! The University of Illinois’ student branch of the Champaign-Urbana Design Organization (CUDO) will be hosting an art exhibition at the Indi Go co-op from Friday, February 21st through Wednesday, February 26th.

The exhibit is free of charge and the opening night festivities — which begin at 6 p.m. — will have food catered from Sakanaya Restaurant on Green Street. Music will be provided by DJ duo Human Human from 7-8 p.m. Throughout the rest of the week, people can visit the exhibit during Indi Go Co-Op’s regular hours.

The art exhibition was an open call to anyone who wanted to submit their work.

“We wanted to put it together to give students an opportunity to display their art. We opened it up for all kinds of majors, in and outside the art and design community,” said Taylor Carlson, a junior studying Art & Design and one of the organizers of the event.

Works of all mediums are being accepted and will be on display at the exhibit — from oil paintings and photography to line drawings with ink and video work.

“We kind of told people to submit what they felt best represented them. The whole idea of the exhibition was to bring in the rawest work you feel represents you as an artist, so a lot of the work is very reflective of the artist,” said Rohaina Hassan, another organizer and a junior studying global studies.

Siobhan Cooney, also an organizer and an Art & Design student, feels that art is a great way to experience culture and thinks that the Champaign-Urbana community has a great artistic community.

“Everyone makes art all over the world. I’m an Art History minor, so I love to study art and understand the meaning behind what artists do and how their world view influences what they make,” Cooney said.

The University of Illnois chapter of CUDO — called the Students of Champaign Urbana Design Organization (SCUDO) — is putting together this event because it is all about offering a community for people who enjoy design and art to come together and share their work. SCUDO took advantage of an open gallery space at the Indi-Go Co-Op and approached members Carlson, Cooney, and Hassan, to do something with it.

The girls knew they wanted the theme of the exhibit to be about how an artist experiences their art and wanted to make it open to everyone. After brainstorming ideas for a while, Carlson said the word “raw” and the girls felt it best represented what they wanted to convey through the exhibition.

“Artists being their true selves and displaying the work that represents the essence of them. I think that’s how the theme formed, because that basically opens it up to everyone. It’s not specific, you don’t have to conform your work to fit a certain theme; it was literally open ended, and we thought RAW would best represent that idea,” Carlson said.

The entire concept of the open call was to find art in all forms from all the nooks and crannies of the community. Hassan told a story of how she was inspired to get involved.

“I was sitting in a Media and Cinema Studies class, and there was a guy sitting in front of me who was just sketching away, and he had made this amazing piece of art right in front of me. I’m like, Where is this?! Why isn’t this acknowledged?”

That is why Hassan joined SCUDO and decided to help put together the RAW Art Exhibition. She wanted to emphasize that you don’t have to be an Art & Design major to be into art.

“I am not as much of a creator as I am an appreciator. I think art speaks about the current culture, but it’s not a commentary on it; rather, a reflection of the current artist,” Hassan said. “But good art is when you can see people put themselves in their work and see what is effecting them. That is what this exhibit is all about.” 

For more information about the RAW Exhibition and other upcoming arts openings, visit the Indi Go webite.

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