Big Medium’s East Austin Studio Tour is back this November bigger than ever for its 16th edition. The free, annual, self-guided art event spanning November 11-12 and 18-19 provides opportunities for the public to meet local artists and artisans of Austin in their creative spaces.
The 2017 tour includes 505 participants, with 241 artist studios, 66 galleries, 155 temporary exhibitions, 26 happenings, 10 libraries and seven schools. The artist studios, where the creativity begins, are a must-visit as this is the one time of year for many of these spaces when the community can get a special glimpse into the inspiration, process, and techniques of the artist. The catalog of venues serves as an overview of tour stops and a schedule of events, helping tour-goers to choose their own unique EAST experiences. The tour features something for everyone, with a broad variety of art forms and media represented in the tour, including drawing, painting, design, collage, photography, video/film, sculpture, wood, metal, ceramic, jewelry, furniture and more.
For first-time attendees and anyone looking for a starting point, start the tour at the Community Breakfast on the first Saturday of the tour from 9:30 – 11 a.m. at the EAST Group Exhibition (1300 E 5th St). Tour-goers will get to kick off their EAST experience with food, drinks, and enjoy a preview of artwork available on the tour. Food and drinks will be catered by Tito’s Handmade Vodka, High Brew Coffee, Topo Chico, Wunder-Pilz Kombucha, Rockstar Bagels, Bobo’s Oat Bars, Thai Fresh, Vegan Nom, Mmmpanadas, Urban Roots, Sprouts Farmers Market, and more. Family friendly activities by Animal Facts Club and Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center will also be available at the Community Breakfast.
East Austin Studio Tour’s design theme for 2017 uses flowers as a way of emphasizing the importance of regionality and peace in response to our current tumultuous cultural climate. Ten EAST artists each illustrated a seasonal, native flowering plant, selected through Big Medium’s partnership with the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.
While the tour is free to attend, the community is welcome to contribute to EAST at the kick-off fundraiser, Due EAST, on Thursday, Nov. 9. (1300 E. 5th St.). At 6 p.m., guests can enjoy the Native Wildflower Dinner, a four-course meal and more with local artist and chef, Sonya Cote. Inspired by the 2017 theme of native flowering plants, the dinner will include cocktail and wine pairings. Guests will also receive an exclusive EAST takeaway bag and will be the first to preview the EAST Group Exhibition. At 8:30 p.m., kick-off the tour at the opening of the EAST Group Exhibition, grab your EAST catalog, and enjoy complimentary beverages from Tito’s Handmade Vodka, 9 Banded Whiskey, Austin Beerworks, Meridian Hive, William Chris Vineyards, Topo Chico, and Wunder-Pilz Kombucha! Tunes by Chulita Vinyl Club, games from Austin Art Services and a silent auction.
Participants for this year’s EAST were selected by a Review Committee. The three-member panel featured Jade Walker, Executive Director of Art Alliance Austin, Oliver Franklin, Director of the Elisabet Ney Museum, and Rebecca Gomez, Curator of Exhibitions and Programs at Mexic-Arte Museum.
East Austin Studio Tour is organized by Big Medium, a non-profit organization dedicated to championing and cultivating artists and the contemporary arts in Austin and across Texas. Through programs and partnerships, Big Medium works to foster the arts and facilitate an inclusive cultural dialogue between artists and their communities.
The official list of over 500 artists studios, exhibitions, special projects, and events participating in the 16th edition of EAST and more information is available at east.bigmedium.org.