This year’s West Austin Studio Tour includes 374 participants. Big Medium, the tour’s non-profit organizing producer, categories that 374 into 108 artist studios, 58 guest artists (people exhibiting in other artists’ studios), 71 artists in exhibitions (artists showing in galleries or art spaces), 114 artists in temporary exhibitions (like at the big group show Blue Genie Big Top and at the one at the Neill-Cochran House Museum), 15 happenings and eight public libraries with exhibiting artists.
Running two-weekends, May 9-10 and May 18-19, all details of the free self-guided tour are here: http://west.bigmedium.org/index.html
If 374 things to see seems daunting, here’s our extremely short and selected list — in WEST numerical order — of mostly artist studios to consider checking out.
Carol Hayman —WEST #58
Photographer, printmaker and professor of anthropology, Hayman creates alluring photo intaglio prints of the Texas desert landscape. Her Clarksville studio is at 1001 Eason Street.
Valérie Chaussonnet — WEST #79
Out of heavy steel, Chaussonnet forges poetic and profound sculptures and landscapes. At her Barton Hills home studio, 2008 Arthur Lane, Chaussonnet is also hosting other wonderful artists: Meena Matocha, Ryan Runcie and Jason Webb.
W. Tucker — WEST #86
Tucker draws with his non-dominant hand to create his sublime and deceptively complex images. His work for the tour this year is curated by Jill Schroeder, owner and director of grayDUCK Gallery.
Sono Osato — WEST #98
This is what Osato makes her intriguing paintings from: oil, encaustic, tinted rabbit skin glue ground, tiny reclaimed objects and bones. Osato’s studio is within the Thornton Road Studios complex in South Austin, 2309 Thornton Road, along with more than a dozen other artists on the tour.
Stella Alesi — WEST #117
Did you miss Alesi’s recent show at Prizer Arts & Letters or wish you could see it again? Stop by her home studio at 1017-A W Milton St. to see her serene minimalist oil paintings and small studies on paper.
Valerie Fowler — WEST #119
Oh, the mysterious, beguiling detail. Fowler’s complex and intricate oil paintings and drawings describe a natural world of extreme beauty and vigor. Her Travis Heights home studio is at 1211 Ravine Drive.
John Christensen — WEST #154
Much of Christensen’s practice has been in large public art. But his studio, in the St. Elmo neighborhood, is filled with sculpture and architectural elements that reflect his interestd in natural science, metaphysics, literature and history. On May 11, from 2 to p.m., enjoy performances of short modern danceworks in the oak glen behind the studio.
Katy McCarthy/ “Saint Something” — WEST #155
McCarthy is the inaugural an artist-in-residence of UT Austin’s St. Elmo Arts Residency in South Austin. And for the tour, she’s using the studio at 412 W St Elmo Road to present “Saint Something” an exhibit of video work by herself and six other artists.
DORF: Self-Portraits — WEST #350
Maybe the smartest newest exhibition space in town is actually the home studio of Sara Vanderbeek who several times a year transforms her South Austin garage studio space, at 5701 Lewood Drive, into the indie gallery, DORF. For the tour, it’s a show of artist self-portraits by a potent bunch: Alan Beckstead, Margarita Cabrera, Bug Davidson, Jennifer Ling Datchuk, Michael Anthony Garcia, Christine Garvey, Katy Horan, Michael Menchaca and Sara Vanderbeek.
And one more thing:
If you haven’t seen it already, the tour’s also a good time to stop by the Umlauf Sculpture Garden and Museum and catch “James Surls: Within Out, With In.” Surprisingly it’s the first ever solo exhibition in Austin by the esteemed Texas sculptor. The show includes works from the 1980s to today, featuring Surls’ signature wood, steel and bronze sculptures.