Choose Your Own Adventure

West Austin Studio Tour returns with two weekends of self-guided art exploration

WEST returns with two weekends of self-guided art exploration

Austin Photo Set: News_Jon_WEST_may 2012_9
 A close-up view of WEST, 2012. Artwork by Sarah Kitchen. Photo by Jon Shapley
Austin Photo Set: News_Jon_WEST_may 2012_12
Art-lovers explore the gallery space. Photo by Jon Shapley
Austin Photo Set: News_Jon_WEST_may 2012_10
"Avalanche" by William Hundley, on display at GrayDUCK Gallery, WEST 2012. Photo by Jon Shapley
Austin Photo Set: News_Jon_WEST_may 2012_9
Austin Photo Set: News_Jon_WEST_may 2012_12
Austin Photo Set: News_Jon_WEST_may 2012_10

Art galleries and public spaces on the west side of I-35 will converge for two weekends of art exploration as part of WEST, the West Austin Studio Tour. Produced by Big Medium, WEST, which takes place April 26-27 and May 4-5, is perhaps the more polished counterpart to annual fall favorite EAST (East Austin Studio Tour).

 The free event encourages participants to take self-guided tours through gallery spaces and interact with art from over 200 artists.

After years of growing success and community involvement with EAST, Big Medium decided to take its idea to the west side of town with an inaugural tour in the spring of 2012. WEST is an opportunity for artists and art lovers to “discover new artistic talent; see working studios; learn about artists' tools, techniques and inspirations; explore galleries and a variety of exhibitions; and immerse themselves in the arts and local business communities.”

The free event encourages participants to take self-guided tours through gallery spaces and interact with art from over 200 participating artists. Luckily there are four full days for exploration.

Should the self-guided tour seem daunting, WEST organizers offer a plan for navigating the gallery spaces with previews of work in the annual catalog. The signature catalog, which has become a coveted collectors’ item over the years, is available to view online.

The stunning book, which includes information on each artist, studio and exhibition, can also be purchased at Women & Their Work, grayDUCK Gallery and Artworks. WEST also offers a free downloadable map detailing all exhibit locations, which can also be picked up at any Austin Public Library.

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WEST takes place the weekends of April 27-28 and May 4-5 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day.