Emerging East

More Than Art

East Austin Studio Tour is expanding knowledge and inviting patrons to see the concept and explore the studios of local artists.

East Austin Studio Tour, commonly referred to as E.A.S.T., is running on its sixteenth year, and it goes without saying it has become an essential cultural institution of this city. East-siders watch and wait as the number markers appear around the neighborhood. It’s a clear sign summer is long gone, and now is the perfect time for inspiration and to admire our community’s art.

During November 11-12 and 18-19, the Studio Tour is free and open to the public. At any of their marked locations, one can take in mediums from collage and photography to sculpture, painting and design. Shea Little, co-founder of the arts non-profit Big Medium and E.A.S.T., says, “Right now we are looking at five hundred artists participating in the event: artists from all over the spectrum [including] familiar names like Federico Archuleta, and new artists like Claudia Zapata.”

This year there’s a lot more coordinated pop-ups with out-of-town artists as well, but Little re-iterates the convictions that have been there since the founding of E.A.S.T.. “We want to preserve a sense of community, where anybody can walk into an artist’s studio, and they’ll get to know not only the artist’s work, but their process of creation as well, within their own city here in Austin.”

For the first year, Big Medium announces Tito’s Prize, which comes with $15,000 cash and a solo exhibition at the Big Medium Gallery for an Austin-based artist. Zack Ingram, originally from rural Mississippi, is this year’s winner and also one of the artists featured in E.A.S.T..

Zack’s work infuses themes of masculinity and race with imagery from the American South using a variety of approaches. His studio has two small fans going and it can get sticky on a hot day. From the middle of the room hangs what looks like a sheer-white thick chain, and Zack goes on to explain how he wanted to reproduce a chain he’d seen back home in his dad’s workshop using the mediums that are familiar to him as an artist such as porcelain and wax.

Indeed, one of the great things about E.A.S.T. is that one can walk into the gallery space of an artist like Zack Ingram. It removes the sense of commerce that a formal gallery space carries, and you feel a deeper sense of familiarity with the artists and their work. E.A.S.T., along with Big Medium and Tito’s Prize, helps foster the idea that Austin artists don’t have to move to New York City or Los Angeles to get recognition and exposure.

If you see a marker for E.A.S.T. in your neighborhood, or spot one riding by, remember that anybody can stop in. The fall season has arrived; it’s inevitable, it surrounds us like a cozy jacket on a cool day. So get out and explore art in this community. The art here is inevitable, and it’s everywhere.

Tito’s Prize exhibition will be held in Big Medium’s gallery at Canopy.
bigmedium.org 916 Springdale Rd., Bldg 2, Suite 101

Zack Ingram‘s 2017 E.A.S.T. Tour stop is at Bolm Studios.
5305 Bolm Rd., Suite 12

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