Big Medium’s West Austin Studio Tour (WEST) is a free, annual, self-guided art event spanning two weekends in May. WEST provides opportunities for the public to meet the artists of Austin in their creative spaces.
The mission of WEST is to provide an inclusive and accessible platform for a diverse group of artists to create, exhibit, and discuss their work, to increase the audience that experiences the artists work, and for that experience to create conversation and build relationships around art and the creative practice. WEST isn’t a craft fair or a street festival, and while sales are an important aspect of any artist’s career, they are not our primary focus. We believe an interconnected art community that supports each other will produce more impactful and sustainable benefits for everyone involved.
Each WEST category has a different objective. Through the studios, WEST highlights process, tools, and inspirations in the spaces where art is created. Through galleries, the tour recognizes the permanent institutions dedicated to showcasing art in Austin year round. Temporary exhibitions and happenings give opportunities for artists to present work in unexpected spaces or experiment with performance and time-based events designed specifically for the two weekend span of the tour when our city is focused on art.
WEST includes five participant categories: Artist Studios, Galleries, Temporary Exhibitions, Happenings, and Libraries.
This is where the creativity begins. For many of these spaces, this is the one time of year that you can get a special glimpse into the inspiration, process, and techniques of the artist. In this category, you can see home studios, studio complexes, and stand-alone commercial studios.
This category is for established art venues with regular gallery programming. These spaces are committed to exhibiting art year-round, supporting artists in a dedicated space.
Exhibitions include established art venues with year-round programming and pop-up shows in temporary spaces. In this category, you can see exhibitions in galleries, warehouse spaces, empty homes, small businesses, and other unconventional venues.
Happenings are time-based art events. This category may include performances, workshops, opening receptions, installations, competitions, art-centered celebrations, educational programming, and art-themed parties. Be sure to check the date and time for each Happening.
Big Medium partners with the Austin Public Library to feature exhibitions at library branches within tour boundaries.
Big Medium works with a Review Committee to help select WEST participants. In 2019, we've expanded the size and role of the committee to now include a six person team that not only helps with artist selection, but also will influence strategy, structure, and community engagement of future tours.
Our 2019 Commitee includes Carre Adams, Exhibit Coordinator/Associate Curator at the Carver Museum, Cultural & Genealogy Center; Jieun Beth, Visual artist and Exhibit Coordinator at the Central Library; Miriam Conner, Community Engagement Coordinator at Forklift Danceworks and member of the African American Resource Advisory Commission; Oliver Franklin, Museum Site Coordinator at the Elisabet Ney Museum; Emmy Laursen, Associate Director at Pump Project and Vladimir Mejia, Visual artist and Director of Social Media and #bitres Curator at Co-Lab Projects.
WEST is a program of Big Medium, a non-profit organization dedicated to championing and cultivating artists and the contemporary arts in Austin and across Texas. Through our programs and partnerships, we are working to foster the arts and facilitate an inclusive cultural dialogue between artists and their communities.
Big Medium produces the East Austin Studio Tour, the West Austin Studio Tour, the Texas Biennial, Creative Standard, and presents innovative exhibitions throughout the year in the Big Medium Gallery. We also provide studio space to artists at Canopy, and umbrella several artists and creative organizations through our Sponsored Projects program.
Shea Little — Executive Director
Rachael Garbowski — Director of Development
Jordan Gentry — Director of Programming
Oliver Scales — Development Coordinator
Coka Trevino — Programming Coordinator
Christina Moser — Design Lead
Robert Boland — Chair
Shea Little — Ex Officio
Big Medium at Canopy
916 Springdale Rd, Bldg 2 #101
Austin, TX 78702
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All works represented in this site were reproduced with expressed permission from the artists. All text and images are copyrighted by each individual artist.
Copyright © West Austin Studio Tour 2019 (all rights reserved).