Julia Clark, membership assistant, is one of many creative folks on staff here at the Blanton. She’s involved with Co-Lab Projects, Ink Tank artist collective, Austin Museum Partnership, and Leadership Austin Emerge Program. Read about her adventures on a self-guided art tour in East Austin below.
When I first moved to Austin a few years ago, East Austin Studio Tours (EAST) was right around the corner. I had never heard of it, and my chiropractor (of all people) gave me the catalog when I told him I moved to town to work in the arts. I convinced my only friend, and roommate at the time, to trek me east to explore. We meandered around aimlessly and ended up discovering so many awesome artists, venues, and people. It made moving to a city I had never visited before seem like a really great idea!
Now acclimated to Austin, I’m an avid enthusiast to all things EAST and even have the pleasure of participating in many different capacities this year. EAST is in its 11th year, and is bigger than ever before, running over two weekends: Nov. 10-11 and Nov. 17-18. With over 300 participating artists at 175 venues, flipping through the catalog can feel like going through a phonebook, but oh so much prettier to look at.
As many other participating artists know, it’s hard to sneak away from your own obligations to actually experience EAST, so I set my agenda and packed in as much awesomeness as I could the first weekend, starting with the Art Night Austin: preview EAST, hosted by Art Alliance Austin. This event is a curated experience showcasing a dynamic selection of seven East Austin creative spaces.
I help run Co-Lab Projects, and we welcomed a whole different crowd to the east side. As busload after busload of people were dropped off at the space, I heard many people say they didn’t know the east side had so much to offer. Hopefully this event helped spread the good word.
At the end of the night, I was able to sneak away and hop on a bus for the after-party hosted at Delta Millworks. A few favorites were Aldo Valdés Böhm‘s beautifully crafted furniture and bowls and Matthew John Winters wood constructed canvas.
Some other highlights from the first weekend of EAST included:
The wonderfully creative ladies of Maison d’Etoile. What’s not to love about vintage clothes, decadent wigs and makeup, and neon taxidermy animal heads?
Hanging out with Jamie Panzer at his studio, discussing the perception of “The Artist.”
Mid-EAST break to have a much needed Michelada with the great folks of Lomography at my favorite east side sandwich shop, Gourmands.
And being able to put on these awesome monster heads at Log Jam so I could take this photo.
Even after my ridiculously scheduled agenda, I only made a minor dent in what I want to see. For this final weekend of EAST (Nov. 17-18), I’m really looking forward to seeing Ender Martos’ new body of work, as well as Tiny Park’s group show, and checking out the MASS production at MASS gallery.
And to round out the 10-day art marathon that is EAST, my art collective Ink Tank, a 801 E. Sixth St., will be throwing a Rococo themed affair on Nov. 17 from 9 p.m. -1 a.m. and you are cordially invited!