Head East to Enter Austin’s Artland
Nov. 12-13 & 19-20, 11AM-6PM
See EAST catalog and map for specific locations.
by Anne Bruno
Pull up a map of Austin. Now drop a pin anywhere inside the rough rectangle created by I-35, highways 290 and 183, and East Riverside Drive. You’ve likely just discovered a place where someone’s using all manner of material to make something that’s never existed before, and doing it on a daily basis.
Such is the nature of this creative hub and the raison d’être for the East Austin Studio Tour. Since 2003, East, as the free, self-guided tour is known, has literally thrown open the doors to home studios, collective workspaces and galleries. Over two weekends in November, East offers the opportunity for the public to enter this world by meeting the makers in their own spaces. “There’s something special about the home studios,” says Hannah Packard, the director of development for Big Medium, a contemporary art nonprofit that produces the tour. “The intimacy of these spaces reveals the artists’ personalities.” Now in its 15th edition, what started with 28 studios has grown to include 534 participants.
Begin by grabbing East’s extensive (and beautiful) catalog and foldout map at any branch of the Austin Public Library beginning Nov. 1. The easiest way to plan your route is to hit the East Group Exhibition (2823 E. MLK) first: almost every artist in the tour will have artwork here, hung in geographical order. For the ultimate in strategizing, visit East’s website where you’ll find even more ways to explore via special audio, bike and curator-led tours and much more. Happy trails!
Read more from the Arts Issue | November 2016