This year’s edition of the East Austin Studio Tour is daunting, with some 200 artists taking part. I plan to see as many as possible, and encourage everyone else to, too. But if that’s just not in the cards, here are some tips for places to see that should give a good sampling on a limited time budget.
First off, ride your bike. Places are so close together you’ll likely spend at least as much time driving, parking, walking from car to each venue, and so on as you would if you rodeâ€”plus, bikes are more fun.
Second, there are a lot of different locations, but there are a few locations that have a lot of artists.
Here are some highlights. I am unapologetically playing favorites and calling out my friends here. The numbers below are the numbers given on the map.
9. Big Red Sun. Landscape architects. Always beautiful stuff here.
12. Okay Mountain. They always have interesting stuff.
14. Ethan Azarian. Whimsical paintings.
15. Barry George. Sculptures made out of scrapmetal. Do not miss.
151. Obsolete Industries. Poster printers. Yes, this is numbered out of sequence
45. Lisa Crowder. Jewelry with really nice silversmithing that combines fine work with a slightly industrial aesthetic. One of her studio-mates is a ceramicist who I don’t know but does nice work. And the Seussian building facade by Lance is a work of art in its own right.
49. Veronica Ceci Blasphemous robot art. Need I say more? There’s other good stuff at her location.
59. Splinter Group. Several furniture makers are based here, and they do stunning work.
60. Pump Project. This location probably has the most art, and the most artists, per square foot, of any place on the tour.
68. Big Medium. These are the guys who started E.A.S.T. Another high-density art complex.
70. Craig Newswanger is the mad scientist responsible for the singing Tesla coils. ‘Nuff said. He’s in a complex with a lot of other worthy artists, making this another high-value target.
78/79. Gingko Studios/Philippe Kleinfelter. Ceramics and monuments. It’s fun just to walk around this place. Sort of out of the way, but worth it.
84. Austin Artistic Reconstruction. These are my people. They are creative and weird.
91-99. Tillery Studios. This is where my good friend and neighbor Mychal has her studio, which is where Gwen will be the guest artist. This is a very big complex with a lot of very good stuff. Another high-value target.
127. Flatbed Press.
I know there’s a lot of other great stuff on the tour, and I don’t mean to give short shrift to anyone, but I feel confident recommending all these locations.