EAST: 2018

The East Austin Studio Tour (EAST), produced by non-profit Big Medium, was held during two weekends in November. This year’s tour included 272 artist studios, 65 galleries, 194 temporary exhibitions, 44 “happenings” and 10 libraries. All were east of the I-35 highway. I went “EASTing” during both weekends and even made two stops in-between:

My first stop on the first weekend was at the Canopy complex on Springdale Road. This complex can get crowded and parking is a problem, so I knew to arrive early. More than 50 artists have studios here. If you can only visit one place during EAST, I recommend going to Canopy.

Next I headed south on Springdale Road visit the woodworkers at Delta Millworks. Numerous guests artists also had displays here.

I loved the smell of wood inside these buildings!

I took a short-cut between fences and ended up at Craft, a DIY crafting studio that became a temporary gallery during the EAST weekends.

This year’s EAST Group Exhibition was located in a brand-new complex called Springdale General, just up the road from Canopy. I tried to go there during the first weekend, but the parking lot was full. So I returned on a weekday afternoon for a leisurely look at small samples from each EAST artist.

While at Springdale General, I also peeked in the windows at colorful animal paintings by Eli Halpin. Her artwork is well-known around town.

On the second EAST weekend, I visited Flatbed Press & Gallery on MLK Boulevard. I learned that this building will be closing next month. It will be demolished and replaced by an apartment complex. Flatbed Press expects to move to South Austin, but other artists who rent space in the building are still looking for alternate, affordable studios.

I then drove south to visit the studios at the Tillery Street complex. Kakii Keenan, a cardboard sculptor, and several friends were set up in the largest studio. Next door, I had an interesting discussion with John Swanger about how an artist’s focus and craft evolves.

This visit was also a good excuse to look around East Coast Succulents and Tillery Street Plant Company.

Hallie Rae Ward had a temporary exhibition on Tillery Street. I’ve previously seen her colorful, fun artwork at the Peoples Gallery in Austin City Hall.

My last stop for EAST 2018 was at Tyler Guinn‘s studio behind the Tillery complex.

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