Austin, Texas, is well known for its live music, barbecue, outdoor fun, and burgeoning startup community. This mini Silicon Valley, however, is cultivating more than just code. Every spring, local creatives emerge from under Austin’s tech shadow to showcase their work at the annual West Austin Studio Tour, just one of the many events marking the growth of Austin’s active design scene.
This is the 6th year of the West Austin Studio Tour by Big Medium, an organization that provides affordable studio spaces for local artists by curating innovative events each year. (Big Medium also organizes a sister event each fall, East Austin Studio Tour, to showcase artists and designers based on the east side of town.) Their mission is to support and promote contemporary art and design in Texas — and we’re all about it.
The West and East Austin Tours span their respective sides of the city, encouraging art lovers to explore both the expansive map of creative studios and, along the way, the bustling town itself. Tour-goers get free access to all participating studios, art openings, live performance events, themed tours, and “pit stops” at participating restaurants and bars committed to supporting the local art scene with donations to the event.
Big Medium’s local art tours have really taken off. The 2017 West catalogue features over 330 participating artists and designers (over 100 more than when the event began in 2011) and thousands of attendees from across Texas and beyond.
The two-weekend event showcases everything from sculpture to furniture design, performance art to weaving, and much much more.
Big Medium promotes not only local studios but also participating public libraries and schools as well. How cool is that? It’s not hard to see why we love Big Medium’s celebration of Austin’s art and design community. The tours bring visibility and exposure to artists, encourage dialog, spark inspiration, and of course, help generate sales to keep artists and designers creating. We have fun discovering new talent and expanding our local Austin design network.
As for everyone else? The West and East Austin Studio Tours unlock our inner creative. Perhaps you’ll decide to take that glassblowing workshop after all!
If you’re in Austin May 13-21, don’t miss the opportunity to wander through this FREE event. It’s a fantastic way to see our city and discover new and already-established Austin artists. Check out CUR8 brand partners participating in the tour!