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WHERE TO GO


Since it’s not humanly possible to visit each one of the 300 artists showcased in 145 studios over two weekends, you’ll be faced with some choices. The best place to start is by letting your taste guide you as you browse the catalog. Choose your favorites from the artist previews and circle them on the map, letting that drive your path. Some of our local recommendations:


Jeff: “Flatbed Press.”


Bijoy: “I love the collectives like Pump Project, Tillery St., Big Medium, and Art Post, where you can see a bunch of different artists and bump into friends and get around easily.”


Marc: “Each year, I try to discover something new. In the process, I not only see new art, but meet new artists and those who appreciate what they are doing. Sure, I’ll make a point of visiting the haunts of people whom I know, but other than that, each year it’s a grab bag, and I can always find something I like.”


Kristy Battani: Lucidity THE “VIBE”


The best thing about E.A.S.T. is the eclectic “vibe.” It is creativity, inspiration, and exploration all mixed together with the occasional touch of humor. It brings together people with a common passion for art and a love for discovering something new. There’s nothing overly “curated” about E.A.S.T.—it is raw and random expression.


Lana: “The most unique thing I’ve seen at E.A.S.T. so far was the Rick Perry Chia Pet sculpture at Blue Genie last year. I prefer it to the politician and, as Warren Zevon said, his hair was puuuuur-fect.”


Bijoy: “I love that each of Austin’s scenes like Fusebox, SXSW, RISE, and Austin Restaurant Week come alive at different times of the year. E.A.S.T. is the art scene’s moment! I enjoy the East Side and its awesome character, the eclectic art and creators and my fellow Austinites, who come out to support and participate.”


Marc: “The one thing I love most about E.A.S.T. is seeing people on the streets, walking or biking in droves, on their way to or from checking out art. While the East Side has a vitality of its own, it really comes alive in a way no other part of the city does. SXSW and ACL pretty much see folks visiting downtown, in what amounts to the business districts, whereas there’s something affirming about watching all makes and models on the streets on a sunny (or cloudy) day, in the neighborhoods of the East Side. I’ve met any number of artists or people from all walks of life, all parts of the globe, that have ended up in East Austin to either work or appreciate the work of others. If you’ve been in this environment, or a similar one, you have to be ready to expect the unexpected as part of the daily gift.”


“This is about the people who are here and have made this their home. It’s a way to support an amazing artist community that can’t support itself with the existing gallery structure in Austin. It’s a way to support artists who work out of studios, and bring the focus back to the studios.”


—Shea Little THE BACKGROUND


The first East Austin Studio Tour was in 2003 and was founded by SVA grad Shea Little and his partners Jana Swec and Joseph Phillips.


In a small warehouse-bay studio complex called Bolm Studios, the three artists started collaborating, engaging and working together. The seeds of the idea for E.A.S.T. began innocently. Little says: “One day, we thought, ‘Hey, we need a studio tour.’ We modeled the idea after other tours around the country. Then we thought, ‘Hey, let’s print something.’ So we each pitched in $30 to print a catalog and coined the event E.A.S.T., the clever name based on the acronym.”


Foster Talge: Metal Tree


Over the years, E.A.S.T. has grown from 40 to 80 to 120, and now 180 studios. In recent years, the number of studios has plateaued and allowed the E.A.S.T. founders to focus on keeping the festival all about the art studios.


OriginMagazine.com | 49


Lana: “I’ve attended since the first year. It’s an annual ritual that never ceases to inspire. My first memories are with my wonderful friends from Fisterra Studio, one of the first art venues. The studio’s founders, my wonderful friends Jennifer Chenoweth and Todd Campbell, are so open and inviting as they share their entire home and life of mixed media and metal art with all of Austin. As I visit other tried and trues like Bolm, Splinter Group, and Artamici, I find myself drawn to the new that I haven’t experienced before as well.”


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