Clear your calendar for the next two weekends! It's the 10th anniversary of the East Austin Studio Tour, a free, self-guided tour of local East Austin studios and exhibition spaces.
For two weekends this year, November 12th - 13th and November 19th - 20th, artists, artisans, woodworkers, sculptors, jewelry makers and more will open up their studios for you to see their work, see where they work and hear their inspirations. The (now) annual tour's come a long way since it first started in 2003, and art lovers can attempt to visit over 300 artist studios and spaces this year.
E.A.S.T. is a great place to get a start on your holiday gift shopping (or a way to fill those blank walls in your house), and many artists sell affordable art options. And for the entire nine days, events will pop up around the East Side at studios and local businesses to keep the excitement going.
Before you head out this weekend, grab one of the E.A.S.T. catalogs from any of Austin’s 22 public libraries—it’s a vital companion to the tour. (You can check out the map online.) We’re also gonna help you break it down this year with our own recommendations. Hours for the tour are 11 a.m. - 6 p.m. on the two weekends, so we suggest you start early each day and try to pack in as much as you can. (Note: This was tough to narrow down.)
Lots of time? Consider this custom designed walking tour
Enjoy the beautiful weather and get a little exercise and fresh air with this nice walking tour we've designed that will take you past 10 pretty spectacular studios and a nice variety of art. Perfect if you want to take in the sights and sounds of East Austin and really immerse yourself totally in the E.A.S.T. experience. Park somewhere between Waller and Comal Streets and Willow and Holly Streets. (The numbers below correspond to the map and catalog.)
6) Denise Prince 1404 Willow Street (enter from the alley) Denise is a phenomenal photographer whose work will captivate you, and recently, she’s returned to painting (which I’m personally very excited to see.)
7) Lewis Carnegie and Woody Welch of El Chavez 1312-B E. Cesar Chavez St. A collaboration between creatives, professionals and creative professionals, this should be interesting.
8) Jennifer Chenoweth and others at Fisterra Studio 1200 E. 2nd St. Jennifer Chenoweth is one of the most enthusiastic and active members of the arts community (she was involved with the way-finding obeliscos project of the East 7th Street project) and her home on the East Side is always filled with a good mix of artists, color and personality.
12) Barry George Sculpture Studio 204 Attayac St. A favorite stop of mine every year, this metalwork studio is tucked away and has a great ambiance. Lots of great metal sculptures mingle with the tools of the trade in a really inspiring setting.
19) Okay Mountain Studios 1619 E. Cesar Chavez St. These guys are always on the cutting edge of what's cool in the creative community and I'm excited to see what they'll house this year for the tour.
25) Michael Long 2110 Willow St. Founder of Austin Photography Workshops, Michael's work is comforting, traditional photography with pleasant subject matter like landscapes, portraits of interesting people and more.
24) Andrew Long 2106 Willow St. Last year, Andrew's spot on the East Side was in a not-quite-finished-yet house that was filled to the brim with his colorful and modern style of contemporary abstract painting. I'm interested in seeing what he chooses to show this year.
21) Willow House 1806 Willow St. Another not-quite-finished-house filled with art, design, furniture and also pretty awesome installations that are going to rock your world.
20) Landry McMeans of Nouveau Western Design 1701 Canterbury St. I'm digging so hard Landry's cardboard reliefs that she creates from inspiration seen while traveling with her band. I'm excited to see these in person.
4) !Bright Studio! 1301 Garden St. Featured artists Matt Lankes and Brenna Byerlotzer bring a mix of photography with ink and pencil drawings and screen-printed fabrics.
Short on time? Consider these hot spots by bike, scooter or car
If you still want to see a lot of art but don't want to go to a ton of places, check out these spots that host groups of artists. (The numbers correspond to the map and catalog.)
35) Ryan McKerley and guests 2710 E. Cesar Chavez St. Lots of inspiring artisans at this one, like ceramists, metalworkers and more.
54) ARTPOST 4704 E. Cesar Chavez There looks to be quite a few interesting installations going on at this collection of artists, as well as some traditional art work.
57) Pump Project Art Complex 702 Shady Ln. A non-profit visual arts organization, this space always has lots of great artists and where they work. A huge variety.
75) Big Medium 5305 Bolm Rd. Not only does the Big Medium complex on Bolm Road hold the Big Medium offices (where all the magic that goes into making E.A.S.T. happens) but they happen to house a truly extraordinary group of artists. Not to be missed. Like, go here if you only can go to one place on the tour.
Stay tuned on Wednesday for our round ups of genre-specific tour suggestions. We'll have lists for folks who like to wear local art, the artists whose catalog pages are making our blood pump the most, lists for those who can't get enough sculpture, those looking to find some functional art to furnish their home with and more.
And read up on the hardworking folks who put on E.A.S.T., the awesomeness that is Big Medium.
11/10/11 Correction: I wrongly wrote that Landry McMeans was a "he." According to one eagle-eyed reader, Landry is "a lovely woman with a sweet voice. Rich is her boyfriend. Together they are in the band Lonesome Heroes."