Insider's Guide to WEST
Local artist shares 10 favorite picks for the 2014 WEST Austin Studio Tour
The West Austin Studio Tour is proof that not all of the creativity in our city resides east of I-35. The tour, now in its third year, sets its boundaries inside MoPac, Highway 183, I-35, and Highway 71. It is a delicious glimpse into the hidden studios of local painters, sculptures, furniture designers, jewelers and photographers. With over 200 stops on the tour, it can be hard to figure out where to start. So we at CultureMap have provided 10 worthwhile stops guaranteed to please.
Stop #62 – Casey Diebold
If you're a fan of old dime store crime novels, this spot is for you. Diebold captures the pulp drama through beautifully painted noir scenery and dames to kill for. Just make sure that doll holding the snub nose revolver isn’t aiming at you! 2812 Nueces St. Ste. 101
Stop #44 – Glenda Kronke
When you walk into Kronke’s studio, you'll think that you have been transported inside the Great Barrier Reef. Her multicolored ceramics are inspired by everything exquisite found in nature. She creates pieces that work as decorative wall art, vessels or accent pieces. 6910 Shirley Ave. Ste. A & B
Stops #96 -101
Bluebonnet Lane is a quiet street off South Lamar Boulevard full of bewitching bungalows, many of which come with a back garage or coach house perfect for an artist studio. If you find yourself on Bluebonnet Lane make sure to stop by and see the unique oil paintings of Lena Adeline or the stunning photography of Alli Schukar. Bluebonnet Ln. (multiple addresses)
Stop #106 – W. Tucker
When you first see W. Tucker’s artwork, you might think a child drew them. But if you look long enough, the ideas start to sink in. His compositions are rooted in a more primal part of the brain. He draws with his non-dominant hand to "get out of his head." So make sure to stop by, loosen up and remember how wise your inner child is. 2108 Arpdale St.
Stop #109 – Litmus Industries
Have you ever been sitting in a charming coffee house, bar or restaurant and looked around and thought, "I wonder where they got these great light fixtures, furniture, accent pieces?" Well the answer is usually Litmus Industries. The company epitomizes Austin style by using gorgeous wood, refined steel fabrication and repurposed materials. The client list includes LaV, Hotel Saint Cecilia and STAG to name a few. 2401 Thornton Rd. Bldg. B2 #400
Stop #138 – Rory Skagen
OH NO! A flying Cyclops monster is attacking the city! Or wait, is it a princess flying around on a giant fudgesicle? Expect to see these subjects and more in Rory Skagen’s colorful and fun paintings. In addition to being a painter, Skagen is also member of Blue Genie Art Industries and is the creator of many of Austin’s best (and most famous) public murals. Don’t miss this stop; Skagen’s exhibitions always entertain. 2209 S. First St.
Stop #167-172 – Austin ArtSpace
Austin ArtSpace was founded by the Austin Visual Arts Associate in 2011 and has quickly become a haven for local artists looking for studios and a place to exhibit. This year’s WEST show presents Eileen McKeon Butt, Gina Gwen Palacios, Josh Henslee, Katie Ryan and Maggi Miller. ArtSpace also promises live music each afternoon of tour beginning at 2 pm. 7739 Northcross Dr. Ste. Q
Stop #189 – Mark Johnson
Mark Johnson’s artwork contains fragments of words and materials, but no complete narrative. Instead, he leaves it up to the viewer to put together the clues and finish the story. These paintings are sweeping in scale and each one is a brand-new puzzle to solve. His work is part of a larger show entitled "Trespass" at Hotel Ella including the works of Jon Windham, Matt Lankes, Maxine Price and Charles Umlauf. Hotel Ella, 1900 Rio Grande St.
Stop #218 – Austin Art Garage
For about seven years, the Austin Art Garage has been the place to find affordable local art. And the crew at the AAG knows how to spot a rising star. Buy a piece there cheap before your favorite artist goes international. 2200 South Lamar Blvd. Ste. J
Stop #212 – Ink Tank Vending Machine – Finally, somebody made a vending machine that dispenses cool ideas and good vibrations. The folks at INK TANK combined guided mediation, retail mercantilism and the Austin cultural landscape into a solar powered groove tool. This machine is part of a public project presented by Art Alliance Austin and made possible by a grant from the Downtown Austin Alliance. The official unveiling will take place Saturday May 17 at 3 pm. Republic Square Park, 422 Guadalupe St.
For more information please visit the West Austin Studio Tour website. WEST catalogues are available for free at the WEST Group Exhibition Location (6406 N. I-35, Ste. 2850A) and at all branches of the Austin Public Library.