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THE ORIGIN GUIDE TO DOING


E.A.S.T. LIKE AN AUSTINITE ORIGIN COLUMNIST | Tina Schweiger


Austin is a destination city for tourists who arrive in droves to take in live music, great food, an abundance of natural resources… and festivals. For the visual arts aficionado, the destination festival is East Austin Studio Tour (E.A.S.T.), happening this November 12 – 20. This guide shares advice from locals on the best way to enjoy E.A.S.T.


E.A.S.T. is a self-guided tour and celebration of East Austin’s creative culture. The free nine-day event spans two weekends. It’s an opportunity to explore the work of hundreds of artists in their studios and gallery spaces.


The special appeal of E.A.S.T. is the opportunity to get a behind-the-scenes look at working artists’ spaces and processes – not to mention the ability to affordably expand your art collection while engaging in dialogue with artists about their inspiration and how they produce their work.


Court Lurie GETTING AROUND BY BICYCLE


Jeff Joiner, an Austin-based art director who’s attended four E.A.S.T.s, is one of the many festival-goers who loves taking in E.A.S.T. by bicycle. This is one of the most popular transportation methods for E.A.S.T. There is plenty of parking all throughout East Austin, but parking gets tough as you get closer to some of the venues. Once you find a spot for your car, riding your bike to the studios is a convenient and fun experience.


ON FOOT


Bijoy Goswami, founder of Bootstrap Austin, has attended at least five E.A.S.T.s, and says he prefers to walk around. Walking is a great way to explore a densely packed cluster of studios, or to visit the collectives that showcase many artists. You can easily get back in the car and move to another section of town when you’re ready.


Jack King: Death of My Mother NAVIGATION: Make Sure You Have A Map.


The map comes inside the impressive catalog, which offers a sneak peek at each artist’s work, along with a short statement. The best way to get a map is to sign up to become a Friend of E.A.S.T. for a $20 donation at WWW.EASTAUSTINSTUDIOTOUR.COM. This will get you a confirmed copy, which you’ll want, because this year the 386-page catalog is sure to go fast.


48 | OriginMagazine.com


Lana McGilvray, codirector of Austin’s Pecha Kucha and vice president of marketing at PulsePoint, has attended every E.A.S.T. since its inception. She prefers to get around on either bicycle or on foot, depending on the weather: “In some cases it’s been running with a stroller and umbrella to as many studios as possible. Last year we also attended the pre-event and participated in the bus-drop off.”


BY MOTORCYCLE


Marc, former long-time Austinite, is an E.A.S.T. veteran who’s attended every E.A.S.T. since the beginning eight years ago. “I’m lucky. By hopping on my motorcycle and scooting around town, I have the ease of a bicycle finding parking, and the zip to allow me to visit more studios.” If you’re lucky too, grab your motorbike or rent a scooter.


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