Lauren White (L) and Elisa Wells (R)

Lauren White (L) and Elisa Wells (R)

It seems like every day a new “unconventional” art gallery opens up in Baltimore. This is great news for any businesses looking to improve the aesthetic of their space without spending any money. But what does it mean for the artist? How can you profit from your work when the business strategy is based off the notion that someone will want to buy it on a whim? There are some people that can pull it off, but they are most certainly in the minority.

Fortunately for the rest of us there is RAW Natural Born Artists; an organization whose goal is to help aspiring artists as they work to make a name and living for themselves.

Heading up this movement in Baltimore is RAW Location Director Elisa J. Wells.

“The goal of RAW is to provide support for independent artists within the first 10 years of their career while giving them a few additional tools, resources and exposure,” says Wells. “It is a means to help them continue to cultivate their creative careers.”

Wells first became involved with RAW after attending an event in Washington D.C. a little over a year ago. The show’s multi-focus format and execution so impressed her that she felt she had to get involved. A year later her enthusiasm and dedication paid off when she was chosen as a featured artist at the RAW Philadelphia Menagerie exhibition last April.

Wells believes that the pool of talent and potential in Baltimore is immense and creating more awareness for local artists is work that she finds meaningful.

When tracking down talent, Wells attends local shows, gallery openings, or any other event where Baltimore creative’s are likely to be found. She says that it is a good way to both see the work and personally interface with designers, musicians, photographers and other artists.

Anyone who has ever put together a gallery opening, a runway show, a concert, or a dance recital can relate to how daunting such a task can be. As Location Director, Wells is charged with curating a multi-medium show with a different set of artists every month.

There is no question in Wells mind that getting to work closely with other artists is the best part of being involved with RAW. She is always inspired and motivated by the artists’ dedication to, and pride in, their work. “I adore being able to see other artists in the creative process. I learn from them. They teach me a lot,” she say.

“RAW summed up”, says Wells “is artist creativity cultivation and support.” She hopes that people will come to see it as a unique and prominent way for artists to achieve exposure both locally and beyond.


  • Jody Bacon

    RAW artists is fantastic! They have an outstanding platform from which to help artists promote themselves. If given the opportunity, any emerging artist would be fortunate to take advantage of the chance to join this organization. Hats-off-to RAW artists!