Saturday, December 15, 2012

EAST AUSTIN STUDIO TOUR

catalog of tour and map

ModernHouston.net repost

East Austin Studio Tour is purely epic in its scale and breadth of art. This is the first year I've made the tour, but this must be their biggest year yet. So many artists are on the tour that it was hard to see everything I wanted to see, but luckily the event spans two weekends, so I will be down this Saturday and Sunday as well.

This self-guided tour comes equipped with a humongous catalog and map. The host gallery, Big Medium, spared no expense on this tome of art studios and exhibition spaces. It was easy to mark the pages of spaces I wanted to visit and many of the artists were clustered together, so you could park and walk around. It seemed that most people in Austin were pretty forgiving of my creative car parking strategies.

I saw some familiar faces along with some artists I have reviewed in other shows. Walking into peoples studios gives you the uplifting feeling of being part of the creative spirit. I know every free moment I took a break from the tour; I began making my own drawings. A place like (#95) MAKEatx gave me all kinds of ideas about laser cutting paper. At this artist collective, you can become a member for a month or more. You will get training on their equipment, and then you can use the facilities for fun or for making your own work.

Many of the houses I visited featured several artists, so you got to see a wide variety of works. Fisterra Studio was wall to wall pictures. Austumn Ewalt’s text pieces were simple, nervous drawings of simple phases or a word. And print making artists were all over the place, so there was a great deal of affordable art. I remember running into William Cauthern’s home (#164) and visiting his images of street scenes in Austin. His cut linoleum prints created expressive lines that accentuated the weirdness of Austin city life. (#111)Wells Mason Gallery had a wonderful group of artists and artisans. One thing I like about the tour is some of the unique furniture objects you can try out. I would take every opportunity to sit down on an unusual chair.

(#79) Big Medium Gallery had some of the best works on the tour with artists like Shea Little, Jena Swec, and Joseph Phillips. These three artists show well together, because they make you think about the arbitrariness of space and placement. I will be returning to Austin in the spring to see Big Medium’s West Austin Studio Tour. Last year was their first run of that tour and judging from the number of East studios, the West will likely begin to explode in the amount of artists participating.

ModernHouston.net for more images.

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