Over 260 artists and galleries participated in this year’s West Austin Studio Tour. WEST boundaries are generally west of I-35, east of Mopac, south of 183, and north of William Cannon. (November’s EAST covers east of I-35.) Armed with our huge WEST map, Bill and I headed out on Sunday afternoon to discover new-to-us artists and explore unfamiliar neighborhoods.
We decided to start in South Austin and first peeked inside the Austin Art Garage. I often stop here when I’m driving by on South Lamar to browse their eclectic but reasonably-priced art.
Next we visited several private residences in the Barton Hills and Zilker neighborhoods. Many artists had small studios at the rear of their property, although a few used their garages for their workspaces. The owner of this house had turned his family room into a studio and his backyard swimming pool into a koi pond.
Members of the Southside Gaiety Hall Artists Co-Op took over the first floor of muralist Avery Orendorf‘s home. WEST visitors were also invited upstairs to see a colorful tree mural in her son’s bedroom.
Bill and I then headed just a bit north of Lady Bird Lake to the Clarksville neighborhood. Phillip Wade graciously greeted visitors to his backyard studio (packed with wonderful paintings), while two other painters, Eve Larson and Ellen Willis, exhibited their work in his living room and dining room.
We also enjoyed a private tour of Carol Hayman‘s second-floor studio. We learned that she teaches anthropology at Austin Community College. Her studio is decorated with items from her many travels.
Bill was a good sport about driving me around town, but he has his limits. So I abandoned him at home and headed out again to Thorton Road Studios. Over 20 artists were exhibiting jewelry, paintings, pottery, sculpture, and photographs in this small enclave in South Austin.
Fireseed Clay Art Studios and Creative Side Metal Works are located in the Thorton Road Studios complex. These places both offer classes and workshops. I’d encourage my fellow Austinites to check out future WESTs and EASTs. Visiting our local artists and their studios is always so interesting!
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