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RAW invites a panel of industry professionals in each field to review the final national contenders (50+ nominees per category / approximately 450 nominees total), selecting -- based on a set of criteria -- who they believe to be the best of the best in their craft!

This panel is made up of creative celebrities and well-known industry bigwigs.

Special thanks to our panel of judges for helping select our national winners and for lending their expertise to tomorrow's creative leaders!


LA CANVAS Arts + Books Editor SHANA NYS DAMBROT is an art critic, curator, and author based in Los Angeles. Formerly Managing Editor at Flavorpill, she is currently LA Editor for Whitehot Magazine and a regular contributor to the LA WeeklyArt Ltd, and several other publications. Her monthly blog, Urban Scrawl, lives at, and her c.v. is periodically updated at
CLAUDIA DEUTSCH founded Los Angeles' Artspace Warehouse -- a contemporary art gallery specializing in international urban, pop, graffiti & abstract art -- adding a third gallery to her family's international art conglomerate. Artspace Warehouse is one of the world's leading galleries for savvy contemporary art collectors. Her brother Oliver Muenchow owns the successful Kunstwarenhaus gallery in Zurich & works in close partnership with Artspace Warehouse.
JOEL KUENNEN is the Director of Operations, Senior Editor at He received his MA in Visual and Critical Studies from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago where he focused on constructions of subjectivity as articulated through spatial relationships. His art practice focused on digital video manipulation and cultural criticism. He has been writing criticism for almost a decade now and started working for ArtSlant in 2010. He has published with Routledge, ID Press, Aint-Bad Magazine, etc. and currently lives in Chicago, IL.

DMITRY SHOLOKHOV, winner of season 10 of Bravo's Project Runway, is known for innovation and forward thinking. Born in Belarus, he moved to New York City, at the age of 19. He enrolled and graduated from Parsons School of Design, earning his BFA in Fashion Design. He has interned at Calvin Klein and J. Mandel, worked as Design Director at Italian house of Domenico Vacca and the Jones Apparel Group, and has created his own collection and brand Dmitry Sholokhov. Sholokhov has won the GenART Award, Saga Furs Design Competition Award, Gap Design Competition Award, showcased at Debut, won the 24 Hour Cat Walk (lifetime), amongst other achievements, including Project Runway.

In March 2013, he showed his fall 2013 collection in Moscow during Mercedes Benz Fashion Week. His designs are selling in over 150 stores in Eastern Europe. Dmitry’s exclusive collection for Lord & Taylor was presented in this US based specialty-retail department store chain in April 2013.
BECA ALEXANDER, aka 'the Fairy Blogmother', Editor-in-Chief of the new Fashion Indie and Chief Influence Officer of Socialyte continues to reinvent the blogosphere.Alexander has been recognized as one of the most successful content curators in the game with placements in: The New York Times, Forbes, Vanity Fair and Women's Wear Daily, among others.

Fashion Indie, is one of the most read fashion blogs in the world with over 555K uniques, 2.2M page views, 330K+ social followers. Alexander left her position at luxury conglomerate Richemont in 2011 after deciding to reacquire the site she created in 2006, Fashion Indie. Since she reacquired Fashion Indie she has relaunched the popular destination as an editorial blogging community dedicated to noteworthy fashion, beauty and luxury lifestyle influencers. Alexander has worked with top media and brands such as Vanity Fair, Marie Claire, Details, Louis Vuitton, Rebecca Minkoff, Coach, Saks, and Nordstrom.
BRIAN STARK - President and CEO of Brand Equity Showroom. Brian's extensive experience in the contemporary fashion industry has made Brand Equity Showroom one of the leading brand building agencies in the US. Coming from a retail background Brian has been able to bring his experience and knowledge of what buyers need to the wholesale side of this business. Identifying trends is another one of Brian's strengths. He has been able to spot the next trends and quickly relay this to his extensive list of valued clients. This has led to the successes of many of his brands today.

JASON BONER is a member of ReverbNation's Live group in New York, NY. He focuses on creating relationships with festivals, radio stations, and publications in order to create opportunities for ReverbNation artists to gain exposure and excel their careers. In addition to working in the industry, Jason is also a musician himself and performs under the name, "Of The Beast."
ANNY COLVIN is Creative Manager for the Film and TV department of Position Music, an independent company that primarily focuses on Music Publishing and Artist/Label Representation for Film/TV licensing, developing, supporting and partnering with great artists and producers. Before working with Position Music, Anny was Marketing and Creative Coordinator at EMI Music.
ROB DAILY is the Founder/Curator of Daily Unsigned which launched in June 2010. Since the site launch over 500+ Unsigned Artists have been discovered and featured with the most notable being: Imagine Dragons, of Monsters and Men, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Capital Cities, MS MR and The Mowgli’s to name a few.

KIMBERLY BROWNING is a filmmaker and film festival professional based in Los Angeles.  Kimberley is the founder and festival director of HOLLYWOOD SHORTS, a monthly short film microcinema that has been running in Hollywood for 15 years.  Kimberley is also an Associate Short Film Programmer for the Los Angeles Film Festival.  
CHRIS SCHWARTZ has been working full-time in the film industry since graduating high school. Schwartz currently serves as the Manager of the AFI Conservatory and National Workshops and has worked with AFI since 2000.  The AFI Conservatory was recently named the number one film school in the world by The Hollywood Reporter. Under National Workshops, Schwartz helps run the AFI Directing Workshop for Women - a unique, tuition-free program that trains women directors, and works at narrowing the gap between the number of working male and female directors in the film and television industry.  Before coming to AFI, Schwartz worked with producers Kathleen Kennedy and Frank Marshall during the production of such films as CONGO, TWISTER, SNOW FALLING ON CEDARS and THE SIXTH SENSE, to name a few.

Schwartz is also an active writer-director, whether doing work-for-hire sports and industrial videos, or doing webisodes as one-half of the vaudevillian-with-a-twist-of-dirty comedy duo Schwartzy and Pagana.
JULIAN HIGGINS is a Los Angeles-based writer and director. In 2011, his thesis film from the American Film Institute, THIEF, won the Student Academy Award, two Student Emmy Awards, and two dozen other prizes from more than fifty festivals around the world. On the strength of the film, Julian was brought into the fold of the long-running Fox drama HOUSE, where he made his television directing debut – at the age of 26 – with the episode entitled "Blowing the Whistle." In addition to pursuing further television directing, he is currently developing both short and feature film projects. Twitter: @filmjulian

Enjoying the beauty industry for 16 years, BRIG VAN OSTEN is known for outrageous hair creations and the contrary, hair for the everyday woman. Brig provides honest opinions to clients and peers, thriving on encouraging others around her to succeed.  Brig has been featured on the cover of MODERN SALON and the pages of ALLURELife & StyleAmerican Salon, Hair Now, Hair & Beauty to name a few.  She has presented on hair show stages around the country and on television including TLC's What Not to WearToday in LAStyle Star & Bravo TV's Shear Genius 3.  

She is the winner of Shear Genius, Season 3.  Brig proudly owns p!ay hair lounge in Simi Valley, California.
BRENTON LEE has competed in numerous hairstyling competitions nationwide, winning over 20 hairstyling awards. He is owner and stylist of Brenton Lee Salon that was launched in 2012, a trendy salon in South Pasadena, CA and a platform artist/educator. Brenton Lee travels throughout the U.S. training and teaching at major hair shows. One of his main focuses for the hair industry is to give back by teaching young professionals and offering his talents to support charities. As a celebrity hair stylist, his work has been on red carpet events and t.v. shows, working with celebrities, such as Nia Long, Lindsay Lohan, Melody Scott Thomas, MC Lyte, and Susan Anton.

He loves to be behind the scenes and has worked on many fashion shows and editorial photo shoots. He has been published in national hair magazines, such as Modern Salon mag., “HOT” by Hairshow, Canadian Hairdresser mag. and African Vibes mag., for his award-winning looks.
With over 20 years of experience in the professional salon industry, MIA LIGUORI MCHUGH brings invaluable knowledge to the platform for enthusiastic, energetic and mesmerizing presentations. As Scruples’ Co-President and Creative Director overseeing imagery, education and product development, Mia’s capacity for educating exceeds every expectation. As a licensed cosmetologist, her vast knowledge and expertise in haircolor shine through at photo shoots and platform productions all over the world.

FACE OFF Season 4 Champion and Award-Winning Artist J. ANTHONY KOSAR specializes in Fine Art, Illustration, Sculpture, and Special Effects through his company Kosart Effects Studios, LLC. On FACE OFF, the biggest competition for Make-Up FX on the Syfy Channel, Kosar won 6 of 11 Spotlight Challenges, setting the record of most consecutive wins in a row and most wins by a single contestant on a single season. Of his Spotlight wins, he won the DC Superhero challenge where his winning character "The Infernal Core" appeared in the DC comic JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK #16, and also won the DEFIANCE challenge where he shadowed the FX make-up crew on set in Toronto, Canada. In 2007, he interned at legendary Stan Winston Studio creating effects for INDIANA JONES 4 and James Cameron's AVATAR.

Kosar designs and sculpts Halloween masks, creates special effects for theater, film, and commercials, and teaches the Art of FX through his studio in Westmont, IL. Besides FX, Kosar designs and sculpts prototypes for toys, collectibles and medical anatomical models, illustrates for novels and comic books, curates art gallery exhibitions, and creates his own fine art paintings and sculptures. His paintings have appeared in Watercolor Artist Magazine and SPLASH: Best of Watercolor, and his sculptures have appeared in SPECTRUM: The Best in Contemporary Fantastic Art. Kosar was Valedictorian of the class of 2008 at the American Academy of Art in Chicago, IL earning his BFA in Illustration. 
PAUL THOMPSON is the Director of Education for Make-Up Designory (MUD) and has been a professional make-up artist for over 20 years, with 15 years of experience as an educator. He also designs, writes, edits, and markets textbooks, and workbooks and has authored MUD’s textbook Character Make-Up, published in 2005, and co-authored the second edition, published in 2009. Mr. Thompson creates and writes curricula and lesson plans including those for classrooms, seminars and company training programs. He supervises MUD’s Los Angeles and New York campus’ daily educational programs, including recruiting and training of all faculty members.

In addition to teaching at Make-Up Designory and UCLA Extension, Mr. Thompson has lectured all over the world for major cosmetic companies such as MAC Cosmetics, Max Factor & Company and Kryolan Cosmetics. His responsibilities include supervision of both the Los Angeles and New York MUD schools’ daily educational programs. Mr. Thompson’s professional credits include the co-creation of the very first silicone bodysuit for Luke Perry in Robin Cook’s Invasion (NBC mini-series). He has created numerous make-up effects for commercials, and has also supervised film and television projects for the MUD/FX Group. Over the course of his career, Mr. Thompson has worked with many prominent actors, musicians, and entertainment personalities, including Janet Jackson, Whoopi Goldberg, James Earl Jones, Jackie Chan, Matthew Broderick, Christopher Reeve, Jonathan Taylor Thomas, Cheech Marin, Pauly Shore, Tracy Lords, Dye, George Hamilton, Clint Howard, and Mark Kriski.
As the founder of The Powder Group, The Makeup Show and On Makeup Magazine, MICHAEL DEVELLIS has the inside track on what it takes to make it big in the makeup artist industry. His more than 18 years of experience working with hundreds of top artists, product lines, artist agencies, trade events, productions, and publications make him uniquely qualified to share an insider’s perspective on the career of professional makeup artistry.

His company, The Powder Group, is based in New York City, launched in 2003, and since has produced educational programs and events in more than 20 cities around the U.S., Canada, Australia and the U.K, including The American Beauty Tour, Makeup 101, Ten Words and Evolution - featuring over 100 of the industry’s top educators. Michael has been a guest speaker at the industry’s top tradeshows including International Beauty Show NYC, Color Mundo Montreal, Pro Beauty U.K, America’s Beauty Show, Chicago and The Makeup Show events in Berlin, Miami, Los Angeles, NYC and Chicago.

With an extensive background as a professional dancer, former agent with Twentieth Century Artists, published author of “Making The Move” and “Brain Snacks” and business entrepreneur, SHELLI MARGHERITIS brings a wide range of experience to the industry as an agent with McDonald Selznick Associates (MSA). Shelli is the Director of the Teaching Department and dance projects within the On Camera / Dance Department for MSA-LA.
LOUISE REICHLIN, Dir. and Choreographer, began her career in NY in concerts & Broadway, and has performed and choreographed throughout the USA with her choreography also seen in China, Taipei, Mexico, and Guatemala. Since 1972 she has worked from her LA base, founding LOS ANGELES CHOREOGRAPHERS & DANCERS, the non-profit base of Louise Reichlin & Dancers in 1979. Some of the Broadway musicals she performed in include "Fiddler On the Roof", "West Side Story" (Lincoln Center revival) and "Coco" with Katherine Hepburn. She taught "Movement Training For Musicians & Actors" for 30 years at USC, and is equally comfortable with all genres. Since 1995, most of her concert works also include multimedia and include "The Tennis Dances", "Urban and Tribal Dances", "The Patchwork Girl of Oz" "Dream Scapes" and most recently "Tap Dance Widows Club", a 50' video and live multimedia work from "The Baggage Project".

Reichlin also is Producer & Dance Director for the annual TriArt Festival in San Pedro. She and her company have received many excellent reviews and grants from the city, county, and state and most recently an ARC grant from the Center for Cultural Innovation and from the Creative Capacity Fund. This year the company is funded by the CA Arts Council, Los Angeles County, and the LA Dept. of Cultural Affairs. Louise has been a National Performance Network (NPN) artist and is currently a United States Arts Artist.
ELIANA GIRARD is contemporary ballet dancer and the winner of So You Think You Can Dance, Season 9. Eliana grew up in West Palm Beach, Florida. She first started dancing at the age of 3 and a half. She left Dreyfoos High School of the Arts to dance at Joffrey Ballet School, and went the following year to Alvin Ailey School. She started her career with Cirque Du Soleil in July 2009. 

Since the age of eleven, when KEN WEINGART made his own black and white prints by hand, his fascination with the visual image has remained steadfast. Today, Weingart’ s goal is to photograph the human face, body, and spirit, and capture the spontaneous moment that makes an image great. Weingart started as an assistant for many great photographers in Los Angeles.

Since then, he has worked and lived in New York City, Los Angeles, Italy, and Spain, and is fluent in Spanish and Italian. He has won numerous awards including being selected for the Communication Arts Photo Annual, and his editorial and advertising work has been widely published all over the world. His client list includes: French Vogue, The Daily Beast, Time, Warner Brothers Music, Entertainment Weekly, MSN Search, and many more.
JOEL KUENNEN is the Director of Operations, Senior Editor at He received his MA in Visual and Critical Studies from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago where he focused on constructions of subjectivity as articulated through spatial relationships. His art practice focused on digital video manipulation and cultural criticism. He has been writing criticism for almost a decade now and started working for ArtSlant in 2010. He has published with Routledge, ID Press, Aint-Bad Magazine, etc. and currently lives in Chicago, IL.
46 Pictures is headed by JAY FOSTER who brings over 20 years of print production experience to the table. Jay has produced hundreds of assignments for ad agencies, clients and magazines world-wide.

Jay was the Head of Print at Prettybird Pictures from 2008 to June 30, 2012. Jay built a roster of talented photographers, that also shot video, to support and satisfy the advertising & entertainment media appetite. Jay is a graduate of Brooks Institute of Photography. His climbing through the ranks from photo assistant to studio manager to producer (& now rep) has been an invaluable experience. It is also a huge asset to the creative teams at ad agencies, clients and magazines.

 LESLIE CHRISTEN is one of Orange County's most sought-after personal stylists and the founder of the region's leading independent styling company: Leslie Christen | LifeStyling. Leslie's stylish and educational website,, gives her growing audience inspiring tips and showcases cutting edge trends and images on the latest in designer fashions.

Leslie also is a Fashion Contributor for several of Orange County's publications including Riviera Magazine and OC Family Magazine, and Fashion Editor for e-newletter, Greer's OC. Leslie is a lifelong lover of fashion who spent years as a personal stylist and costume designer in the fashion and entertainment industries. Her extensive experience in the fashion world has given her the talent to quickly assess her clients' strengths, minimize body challenges and authentically express her clients' individuality and best assets.
ROBYNE ROBINSON is an award-winning news broadcaster and entrepreneur – the first African American prime time anchor in the state and only the second African-American candidate for Lieutenant Governor of Minnesota. Robyne’s received numerous honors, including MN Broadcaster of the Year, the recipient of thUpper Midwest Emmy for Best Anchor and was also named a Humphrey Fellow at the U of MN. Her unwavering support of the arts made an indelible impact on entertainment coverage in the Twin Cities media today – as originator of The Buzz on KMSP-TV, and as the owner of flatland (2000-2003), a critically praised contemporary art gallery by local and national arts writers.

Robyne owns ROX Jewelry Designs, sold throughout the US, as well as Greece and the Virgin Islands. Her work is on display at the Studio Museum in Harlem, and has been featured in Nylon and Redbook, as well as on The Tyra Banks Show.
Designer WENDY BRANDES is the 2012 winner of Fashion Group International's Rising Star Award for fine jewelry. Her history-inspired 18K gold and platinum signature line is known for its "covert luxury," featuring hidden gems and other details, well as designs that open up, twist into new shapes and even whistle. Her WENDYB by Wendy Brandes diffusion line reflects her interest in social media, an area in which Wendy led the luxury-goods industry when she launched her humorous and frank blog in 2007.

Wendy's work has been featured in publications including InStyle, Elle, W Magazine, and British Vogue and on Her designs have been spotted on celebrities including Rihanna, Britney Spears and Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter Skylar Grey. In addition to the Rising Star Award, her work has placed in the JCK's Jeweler's Choice Awards and the American Jewelry Design Council New Talent Competition.


Read 10024 times Last modified on Monday, 07 October 2013 15:10