In the pre-pandemic times, the East Austin arts complex Canopy hosted its open studio event the first Friday night of the month. With Canopy’s more than 50 artist studios, about dozen galleries, creative spaces and shops, not to mention a handful of art trailers, the free event quickly grew massive. It wasn’t uncommon for a thousand people or so to show up.
But the free event turned into a free-for-all, attracting a crowd less interested in art and more in search of free booze, a frustration for Canopy artists and gallerists.
During the pandemic closures, the Canopy community pivoted. Now Open Canopy is from 1 to 4 p.m. the first Saturday of the month. The next event is June 4.
Sure, there may be a complimentary beverage to be had, but the daylight hours mean it’s no longer a rowdy party. Instead it’s a pleasant opportunity to engage with local artists and gallerists. And unlike before, you can find parking too.
The converted warehouse complex gained some new tenants during the pandemic including Art From the Streets, which supports the creative efforts of people experiencing homeless. It now has an ample gallery and studio.
Creekside Studio also slipped in. The fine art printmakers and shop publishes prints by Julie Speed, Bob Schneider, Veronica Ceci and Creekside founder Tracy Mayrello among other artists.
Canopy is at 916 Springdale Road. Follow the Open Canopy event on Instagram for updates