According to the calendar, this is the time of year when hundreds of Austin artists allow platoons of art lovers to troop through their studios and homes for a couple of weekends. This year, though, that just sounds like a superspreader event with a frame around it, and no one is more keenly aware of that than the folks at Big Medium, who have been producing a studio tour in East Austin every year since 2003. Their concern for the health and safety of artists and patrons alike prompted them to cancel the West Austin Studio Tour back in the spring, and I don't expect many locals would've been surprised if they'd also nixed the East Austin Studio Tour this fall.
But Big Medium is also keenly aware of how much these tours mean to the artists in them, and as an organization committed to supporting area artists, it didn't want to cancel a second event that provides them with vital income and exposure this year if it could help it.
And it could help it. Big Medium fused EAST and WEST into the Austin Studio Tour, a blend of online showings – a group exhibition, individual artworks, studio visits, art demonstrations, artist profiles, and talks – and guides to outdoor installations and public art that can be visited safely in person. (Among them: a map to murals by the artist in this feature, Federico Archuleta.) There's also the catalog with images by all 420 tour artists – possibly the most stunning print edition of a studio tour to date – and, of course, links to places on the web where works by the 2020 tour artists can be seen.
The website with all the goods, www.austinstudiotour.org, goes live on Sat., Nov. 14. The tour continues through Sun., Nov. 22.
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