Although it has come and gone now, the East Austin Studio Tour was and is something I absolutely must talk about. Every year galleries and art spaces all over Austin present shows to showcase local artists and their gallery. The EAST tour is a way for Austinites to explore the creative environments all over the city. The event runs the span of two weeks and includes art from all mediums, parties, and many more events. Each place that takes part in the tour is given a number that is listed in the official catalog and map so that those exploring can find it.
This year I attended events at Tillery Park, Co-Lab, Arts and Rec, and a house art show. Each were labeled and created events and art pieces to feature for the tour. Each space has a different way of showcasing art that is distinct to their space and atmosphere.
Tillery Park, an outdoor art space surrounded by greenery, is hidden away on the east side of Cesar Chavez. I attended an artist appreciation party their sponsored by Tito’s Vodka. They had free food and drinks and only asked for small donations. The free drink I had of course featured Tito’s and I’ve got to say it was one of the best mixed drinks I’ve ever had. It was a mix of vodka, mint, and fresco that even on a cold night in Austin warmed my stomach. Each artist or group had small trailers set up where you could go inside and explore a small selection of their work or clothing.
One of the other spaces I went to was Co-Lab. Their approach on featuring art is innovative and exactly what the creative process needs. They try to do a new show every week or every other week which for installations and the work it takes is a lot to ask. They give artists space inside their gallery or the outside space and let them do whatever they want. It allows artists to push the boundaries of what an art gallery should look like or be. We were able to see the art inside and outside and even enjoyed a free beer and good conversation with one of the featured artists and the owner of the space who lives above the gallery (Im announcing our engagement soon).
These are just a few of the places that participate in this splendid event. EAST is one of those happenings that allow you explore your creative side even when you do not think it exists. Its a way for artists and art appreciators to come together in their shared passion.