Editor's note: The East Austin Studio Tour is a wonderful chance to discover the artists — and the workspaces — that serve a critical role in our city's creative scene. This year, we asked local artists for their can't-miss-picks for the 2013 E.A.S.T.
Matthew John Winters is an Austin-based artist. In addition to being commissioned for residential pieces, his work can be found everywhere from Dive Bar to Papi Tino's to Yellow Jacket Social Club. Check out his website here.
Now in its 12th year, the East Austin Studio Tour is a chance for Austinites to meet artists, explore studios and workshops and get submerged in what makes the capital of Texas such a creative city. This year, the tour features more than 160 artists and over 40 curated exhibitions.
It can be a daunting task to see everything, so we have put together a helpful and assorted list of can’t-miss stops. So grab a picnic basket (preferably with a baguette sticking out of it) and get E.A.S.T.in'.
4704 East Cesar Chavez — E.A.S.T. # 157-158
Artpost is a jackpot if you are looking for as many different types of art studios as possible. There are more than 30 artists working at this location in media including painting, printmaking, textiles, photography, sculpture and jewelry design. Make sure to check out Jason Webb’s photorealistic watercolors of bulk-trash pickup day or Foster Talge’s intricate metal tree installations.
Bonus: Close by is Splinter Group (# 156) and Delta Millworks (#155), with some incredible woodworking and furniture studios.
2. Co-Lab Projects
613 Allen Street — E.A.S.T. # 151a-b
If you’ve never had the pleasure of stopping by Co-Lab, then E.A.S.T is the perfect time for an introduction. During the year, Co-Lab has artists drastically transforming its space week to week, but during the tour they calm things down a bit. Their exhibition titled “Conspectus: Two Thousand Thirteen” boils down a year’s worth of installations and performances into a “greatest hits” type experience.
Bonus: Artist Katelena Hernandez will be installing an outdoor sculpture with intermittent performances that will be sure to dazzle.
3. MASS Gallery
507 Calles Street – E.A.S.T. #136.5
The folks at MASS Gallery are displaying Young Sons, featuring Michael Ricioppo and Drew Liverman. This exhibition showcases frenetic yet enticing paintings that are sure to please a wide audience. Don't miss nearby East Side Glass Studios (# 136.3a-3h) for some thrilling glass blowing and beautiful craftsmanship. If that’s not enough, peek into Sky Candy (# 136.2a) and witness the breathtaking aerial acrobatics.
Bonus: These studios share a building with Hops & Grains Brewery, which offers tastings noon - 6 pm on Saturdays and Sundays.
4. Tillery Park
801 Tillery Street – E.A.S.T. # 62
Tillery Park is the little Eden of the East Side. Through its front gates lies East Austin Succulents, growing and selling the finest in “fat plants." Farther back is a garden of Airstream trailers. These trailers are full with unique styles of vintage boutiques, artists and cafes.
One space in particular that stands out on E.A.S.T. is TEST TUBE (# 62.1). This nontraditional gallery space will harbor the fantastical sculptural landscapes created by artists Andrea Faye Hyland and Emily Cayton.
Bonus: Rumor has it that the now-defunct neighboring Mrs. Baird’s Bread shop will be buzzing with the projects of some local installation artists.
5. Blue Genie Art Industries
916 Springdale Road Bldg. 4 Ste. 102 – E.A.S.T. #57.7a
Since 1999, Blue Genie has turned fantasy into reality, using the latest in sculptural materials and fabrication. Just like Willy Wonka's factory, Blue Genie opens its doors for a few days during E.A.S.T. so the public can witness the magic that happens inside. Whether it be a giant '50s-style robot, life-size sushi or statues of golden roosters, you will find something at Blue Genie that will inspire the kid in you.
Bonus: The Blue Genie Danger Derby (E# 57.7b) is a “no-rules” pinewood derby race that happens during the tour. Pick up your derby kit the first weekend and bring your race car back “tricked out” to battle some very creative competition. Who needs Formula 1 when the Danger Derby has a Ring-of-Fire?
Bonus Bonus: Canopy (E # 57.1a – 57.2b) and Museum of Human Achievement (E# 56) are in the same lot! Make sure to stop by and see the E.A.S.T. headquarters and an enormous number of great artists' studios.
6. Okay Mountain Studios
1619 East Cesar Chavez – E.A.S.T. # 109.1a-109.2
Okay Mountain has long been a tastemaker in the Austin art scene, and this year it is lending its front show space to prodigal son Arturo Palacios. Palacios’ Houston Gallery will be bringing the talents of Jim Nolan to our fair city. Nolan’s austere sculptural constructions combine inexpensive materials and playful titles. Venture into the back studio spaces to check out Sophie Roach’s madly awesome drawings (# 109.1B).
Bonus: A block down the street is the too-good-to-be true Neapolitan pizza joint Bufalina. Rest your weary self as you sample the impressive wine menu and eat some incredible pizza.
7. Pump Project Art Complex
702 Shady Lane – E.A.S.T. # 53.1a -53.2
Pump Project may be our last entry on the list, but it definitely belongs in the “Do Not Miss” category. This place is the heart of what the tour is about. As you enter the building, you will be welcomed with friendly faces inviting you to explore the intimate spaces where creativity happens. After a stranger offers you some wine in a plastic cup, check out the group show in the main gallery.
Bonus: If you enjoyed Pump Project, not too far away are the Pump Project Satellite Studios/Flex Space (#50.2a – 50.2g), which are additional studios and project spaces run by the same organization. The main gallery space will have works by local favorite Laurie Frick (# 50.2d).
Also, make sure to stop in at MakeATX (# 50.2c). Why? Well, because they have lasers.
For more information on E.A.S.T, please go here.
Catalogs and maps are available at any Austin Public Library or Big Medium's main office Tuesday – Saturday noon - 6 pm