The Reign Revolution
It’s The R.E.I.G.N Artist Network’s third showcase, and Club Red is full of artists, paintings, fashion and body art. The first thing you see is a full length painting by Chauntal Jones, an ASU senior. Her paintings are of gendered beauty norms.
“I want to express in a humorous manner the ridiculousness of what girls do to get ready every day,” Jones says. Her pictures include a self-portrait putting mascara on in the mirror; another one is tweezing her nose hairs. Then, suddenly, the speaker announces the next rapper. The night includes all kinds of creative artists giving it their all onstage.
Four girls dance on strip poles, followed by a fashion show featuring extreme clothes, makeup and accessories. The night isn’t over yet — a duel performance has everyone off their seats, dancing and cheering. All of this couldn’t have happened if it wasn’t for the creation of The Reign.
The R.E.I.G.N Artist Network, which stands for Revolution Evolves In Growing Numbers and is commonly called The Reign, is an organization to help expose artists to the public and to become more outspoken about their talents. The Reign looks for rappers, dancers, singers, poets, fashion designers and visual artists and was created last February by Chris Stanton, a senior in sociology, and Ruben Hinojos, an ASU graduate.
“The Reign really started out as a collaborative project between me and Ruben. He wanted to co-promote my music with his clothing and graphic design,” Stanton says.
At the beginning, the two creators talked about their artist friends that could benefit from promoting one another’s art. This included Tremell Gray, an English literature senior; David Russell, an ASU graduate; and Urtreen White, also an ASU graduate. After finding artists, The Reign was formed by the first five core members of the group.
Each one of them brings something different into the group: Hinojos is the graphic designer, Stanton and Russell are music artists, Gray is a poet and creative writer, and White is a photographer. They've also linked up with Ced Robles, a videographer with connections to several artists.
This third showcase — the first was at Hotel San Carlos in Phoenix and the next two at Club Red in Tempe – have helped brand the name of The Reign into a successful artist network.
“I loved the fact The Reign had faith in me to let me perform my music before they ever even heard it,” says Martin Williams, an English literature senior. “They made the experience memorable and I look forward to the next showcase.”
The Reign also has a symbol: a singular thumbs-up that is tilted to the side, which they put on their T-shirts and fliers.
The Reign has many future goals and is excited about what the future has in store, as well for the other artists who are looking to market themselves and their abilities.
“Where we are looking to go from here is an extended network of artists that has maximum exposure to other artists and art lovers, facilitation of artist’s collaborations, and positive attribution of our arts in the community,” Stanton says.
The Reign also has a website, reignrevolution.com, which offers videos from past showcases, all the reign artists, music and apparel. They encourage questions or suggestions to their email, firstname.lastname@example.org, and can be found on Facebook at Reign Art Net. There are currently a total of 30 artist members and they are looking for creative and enthusiastic artists.
“We are trying to offer a stage for these artists to express themselves with their art,” Grey says. “It’s about giving the artists an opportunity to expand themselves with different artists. We wanted to give back to the community. For ASU students it should be about joining The Reign. It will allow ASU students to share their talents.”
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