It’s the largest arts event in Austin.
The East Austin Studio Tour is a juggernaut all its own, an event that’s arguably re-introduced an entire swath of the city to the city itself by defining a place of creative activity.
Certainly, EAST has been the catalyst that introduced dozens and dozens of artists, artisans, fine craftmakers and other creative makers to the public.
Tour organizers this year issued more than 400 EAST numbered signs to mark the artists, studios, events, galleries, happenings and other events that constitute EAST 2o14.
Here are our recommended starting points for navigating the flurry of things to see and places to go.
EAST Group Exhibition and Tour Headquarters, 1501 E. Sixth St.
Hours: Noon to 6 p.m. Tuesdays-Fridays, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays through Nov. 23
Where to start? With more than 300 artists on the tour, it’s a daunting decision.
Stop by the EAST Group Exhibition to see the work of just about every artist on the tour. You also can pick up catalogs and maps and ask questions.
And the exhibit space is open next week between tour weekends for more relaxed perusing.
The artist hives
There’s creativity in numbers.
Often with dozens of studios, the warehouses and compounds that have been transformed into working communities for artists and artisans offer some of the most expedient art-seeing on the tour.
And during EAST, many will feature pop-up exhibits and special events or food trucks and vendors.
At Canopy, you’ll find several galleries, too, such as Big Medium, Art Science Gallery, Women Printmakers of Austin and Modern Rocks, as well as Blue Genie Art Industries, makers of large-scale and crazy sculptures, theme park figurines and signage.
Artpost, 4704 E. Cesar Chavez St., www.artpostaustin.com
Bolm Studios, 5305 Bolm Road, www.bigmedium.org/studios.html
Canopy, 916 Springdale Road, canopy.bigmedium.org
Cement Loop, 5811 Berman Drive, www.cementloop.com
Pump Project, 700 Shady Lane, www.pumpproject.org
Up Collective, 2326 E. Cesar Chavez St., www.upcollective.org
The artist and artisans
It’s all about the artists, artisans and their studios during EAST. And while there are more than 300 to discover, here’s our list of 10 to get you started on your explorations. Look for signage that features each studio’s EAST number.
A&K Woodworking and Design. 3403 E. Fourth St. www.akwoodanddesign. EAST #220. Amanda McKeever and Khiem Nguyen combine mid-century modern design with Japanese-inspired flourishes to create their fine woodworking pieces and furniture items.
Elizabeth Chiles & Susan Scafati. Canopy, 916 Springdale Road, Suite 205. www.elizabethchiles.com, www.susanscafati.net. EAST #108. In different yet not dissimilar styles, photographers Elizabeth Chiles and Susan Scafati each create images that poetically play with perception.
Combcase Co. 736 Cherico St. www.combcaseco.com. EAST #76. Celebrating the golden age of travel, Austin artist Eva Claycomb repurposes and retools vintage suitcases into one-of-a-kind design objects or carry-what-you like cases.
Hatch Workshop. 641 Tillery St. 512-999-2634. www.hatchworkshop.com. EAST #222. This cooperative of creative makers combines traditional wood joinery, sleek metal work and lots of repurposing of found materials for their hip, modern furniture and cabinetry.
Kevin McNamee-Tweed. Bolm Studios, 5305 Bolm Road, Bay 10. www.kevinmcnameetwee.com. EAST #348. Quirky, whimsical, filled with droll humor yet a gentle humanity, the work of Kevin McNamee-Tweed — whether drawings of imaginary book covers or rocks bearing enigmatic cartoons — never fails to delight.
Michael Sieben. 2604 E. Cesar Chavez St. msieben.com. EAST #238. Founding member of Okay Mountain Collective, internationally exhibited illustrator and managing editor of Thrasher Magazine, Michael Sieben has a wholly original style that is classic and playful yet poignant. He’ll be selling limited edition screen-prints.
Sertodo Copper. 3615 Oak Springs Drive. 512-923-4885. www.sertodo.com. EAST #19. An international cooperative of master copper artisans with workshops in Austin and Michoacan, Mexico. Coppersmithing demonstrations throughout the day.
John Swanger. 701 Tillery St. www.johnswanger.org. EAST #66. John Swanger’s abstract, minimalist paintings are cerebral, meditative and intellectual.
Sally Weber and Craig Newswanger. 1406 Smith Road, Suite D. resonancestudio.com. EAST # 145. Holographic installations, light-based art and interactive projects like a drawing machine are the work of Sally Weber and Craig Newswanger.
Aaron Weiss and Robert Weiss. 1200 E. Second St. onestoryproductions.com. EAST #280. Filmmakers Aaron Weiss and Robert Weiss present “Inner Sanctum,” their moving video work that explores the work of a mortician.
Beyond the tour, East Austin can now arguably claim to be home to more galleries than any other area of town.
And if you haven’t had a chance to explore them yet, these recommended galleries make for good tour starting points.
Art Science Gallery, Canopy, 916 Springdale Road. www.artsciencegallery.com. The exhibit “X Marks the Spot” features artists who use data as inspiration or subject matter.
Big Medium, Canopy, 916 Springdale Road. bigmedium.org. Organizers of EAST, the Big Medium folks offer a show of their own work along with the multimedia and video work of Barna Kantor.
Clayworks Studio/Gallery, 1209 E. Sixth St. www.clayworks.net. For 35 years, Clayworks has called East Austin home. The studio celebrates with an exhibit about the history of its East Sixth Street building along with the ephemera that a ceramics studio generates over the years.
Co-Lab Projects, 613 Allen St. co-labprojects.org. This busy project space hosts new, often site-specific installations every couple of weeks. For EAST, Co-Lab will feature a look back at installations from the past year with sample artworks from each project.
Flatbed Press, 2832 E. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. www.flatbedpress.com. Long recognized as one of the best fine art print workshops in the country, Flatbed Press is one of the originals of the East Austin art scene. Since 1999, it’s anchored an 18,000-square-foot warehouse on East Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard that’s home to its impressive art-making studios along with several galleries, artist studios and art-related industries. Print-making demonstrations and prints from its more than two decades of printmaking will be featured.
Gallery Shoal Creek, Flatbed Building, 2832 E. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. www.galleryshoalcreek.com. Next year, Gallery Shoal Creek will celebrate its 50th anniversary, remarkable for any art gallery. Now established in the Flatbed building, the gallery features a group show of Austin-based artists Shawn Camp, Rebecca Cohen, Katie Maratta, Steven Wiman and Sydney Yeager.
Grayduck Gallery, 2213 E. Cesar Chavez St. www.grayduckgallery.com. A sleekly converted bungalow serves as the new home for Grayduck Gallery, which features sharp and savvy emerging artists from around the country. The exhibit “Heirloom” features moody mixed media paintings by Adrian Landon Brooks and Megan Kimber.
Link & Pin Gallery, 2235 E. Cesar Chavez St. linkpinart.com. New to the scene this year, Link & Pin is an artist-run gallery featuring emerging painters, sculptors and multimedia artists.
Mass Gallery, 507 Calles St. massgallery.org. Cooperatively run by a group of artists, Mass has national connections and a sharp and smart vibe. The show “Green Zone” spotlights imaginative and edgy sculptures by Julie Moon and Rick Mansfield. Mass is in a warehouse complex that includes East Side Glass Studio, Sky Candy Aerial Arts, Hops & Grains tap room and Mettle bistro.
Photo Méthode Gallery. Austin’s photo scene got a sophisticated boost when Photo Méthode opened last year. On view is Peter Leighton’s quirky yet eerie series of imaginary vernacular photos, “Man Lives Through Plutonium Blast.” Flatbed Building, 2832 E. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. www.photomethode.com.
True to Austin’s festival-going habits, the East Austin Studio Tour has plenty of parties, art-making happenings and pop-up events sprinkled throughout the festival.
All of these recommended events are free.
Where is Your Heart? Wall. As part of her “Austin’s Atlas” crowd-sourced map-making project, artist Ann Armstrong will lead this participatory art-making happening, open to all. Bring your own supplies or use what’s provided to add text, images and even objects to an alley wall. 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday. 612 Calles St. www.austinatlas.com.
“No Grit No Pearl” carving workshop. Get your stone-carving ya-yas out with the master masons at Kincannon Studios, who invite the public to help create abstract stone panels. 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Kincannon Studios, 2601 E. Fifth St. www.kincannonstudios.com.
Victory Lap at the Historic Victory Grill. The historic Victory Grill is one of the last remaining juke joints from the “Chitlin Circuit” in Austin. Live music and a community art show make for a great after-party on the first day of EAST. 6 to 10 p.m. Saturday. Victory Grill, 1104 E. 11th St. capitolviewarts.org.
Canopy Night. Because you just can’t get everywhere during EAST, the Canopy complex and its galleries will be open for more art-viewing and a party on the first day EAST. 6 to 8 p.m. Saturday. Canopy, 916 Springdale Road.
Puro Chingon Collective and Fe De Rico. Local Latino artists group Puro Chingon Collective unveils new Day of the Dead-inspired handmade toys and prints while Fe De Rico provides live art-making demonstrations. 8 p.m. to midnight Saturday. 4609 Lyons St. www.purochingoncollective.com.
Sunday School. The South by Southwest Festival goes EAST with a party featuring DJ Jes Carpenter. 3 to 9 p.m. Sunday. Delta Millworks, 4701 E. Fifth St.
Blue Genie Danger Derby. Watch as homemade pinewood toy derby cars compete on a wildly creative two-story, 100-foot hazard course. 7 to 11 p.m. Nov. 22. Blue Genie Art Industries, Canopy, 916 Springdale Road. www.dangerderby.com.
Clayworks Studio/Gallery 35th Anniversary Celebration. One of the original and continuing art businesses to call East Austin home, Clayworks celebrates with a party at the windup of EAST. 6 to 9 p.m. Nov. 23. 1209 E. Sixth St. www.clayworks.net.