WEST 2019 Participant Guidelines

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 artists to connect with each other and for the public to experience art in creative spaces.

Mission of WEST

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.

Goals of WEST

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.

Core values of WEST

  • Diverse
  • Accessible
  • Experimental
  • Inspirational
  • Community building

Tour Information

  • Dates & Times
    May 11–12 & 18–19, 2019 from 11am - 6pm
  • Boundaries
    West of I-35, East of Mopac, South of 183, North of William Cannon
  • Key Dates
    • Open Call: January 15 – February 15
    • Due WEST: May 9
    • Post-tour Town Hall Meeting: May 22


To participate in WEST, you must have a space within tour boundaries: West of I-35, East of Mopac, South of 183, North of William Cannon. If your studio or exhibition space is outside the boundaries, you are welcome to join by showing as a guest at another artist’s studio, temporary space, or gallery.

Spaces very close to the boundary line will be considered for participation, please email west@bigmedium.org with your space’s physical address to get approval before applying. If you are approved to apply, you are still not guaranteed to be accepted, as our committee has final selection.

Participation Fee

Fee: $175


Big Medium awards artists Fellowships based on artistic merit and financial limitations. WEST applicants may apply for a Fellowship to receive partial or full financial support to cover the participation fee. Full, half, and quarter Fellowships are available. The fellowship application requires a $10 processing fee.

Fellowship applicants are asked to:

  • Briefly describe their dedication to their artistic practice
  • Describe their financial limitation
  • Describe how they hope to benefit from their participation on the tour


Some questions to ask yourself before applying:

Does your practice qualify? We are seeking fine artists with a visual arts emphasis.

  • Does the medium fall into the categories included in the application? (see below)
  • Ceramics
    Digital Drawing

    Mixed Media
    Printed Matter


  • Examples that will not be accepted:
  • Craft fairs
    Food products
    Beauty Products
    Mass Produced Products

Will you be showing your dedicated work space?

  • Will process be on view, or will the space be transformed into a gallery / exhibition?

Exhibitions in a dedicated space
Is the space recognized exclusively as an exhibition space year round?

Exhibitions in a temporary space
Is the temporary space conducive to showing artwork? Spaces with poor lighting or distracting environments will not be included.

  • Examples of spaces not recommended, particularly for 2D work*
    • Parking lots and driveways
  • *Exceptions include large scale installations, or other projects that fit such an environment

If you are an art-friendly business, we appreciate your desire to be involved and invite you to invest in the success of the tour and promote what you do to a huge audience by becoming a WEST Local Business Partner, Advertiser, or Sponsor.

Local Business Partners include cafes, restaurants, bars, retail businesses and boutiques who want to support our creative community and participate in the tour as a business. More information about this category is available here. For more information about whether or not your business can be included in the Local Business Partners program, please email development@bigmedium.org.

Advertisers support the tour by creating customized ads that are woven throughout the catalog in full, half, and quarter page dimensions. For rates and ad specifications, please email development@bigmedium.org.

Corporate sponsorship of WEST provides significant community impact and marketing opportunities for corporate engagement through our customized and wide-ranging partnership platform. For more information about sponsorship opportunities and benefits, please contact Rachael Garbowski, garbowski@bigmedium.org.

Selection Process

Big Medium works with a Review Committee to help select participants for both EAST and WEST. The committee features invested community leaders, artists, and curators who, guided by the above criteria, make recommendations on who should be involved in each tour.

Step-by-Step Application Guide

Available here.

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 2018 (all rights reserved).