West Austin Studio Tour Recommendations

Where to go, what to see, who’s your caddy

Yes, just 10 here, OK? Just 10 recommendations of studios and/or galleries not to be missed this weekend or the next – out of all the hundreds of options available during this year’s iteration of the West Austin Studio Tour.

Of course, you could choose to bike or drive and wander as your intuition takes you, journeying will-ye nill-ye among all the wonderments awaiting art-lovers in this annual exploratory event helmed by those Big Medium movers & shakers, sure.

I mean, don’t mind me – I’m just Brenner.

But if you’d rather, for whatever reason, not make all the navigational choices yourself, citizen … well, this brief list won’t steer you wrong, is all I’m saying.

[Before we even get started, though, let’s note that the Big Medium folks have made things easier for all concerned, exploringwise, this year – by breaking down the Tour’s participants into handy categories: Family Friendly, Home Studios, WEST Originals, New to WEST, Functional, and Conceptual. And that could be all the guidance you need.]

OK, then:

You know: Like we saw on the walls of Pompeii after all the Vesuvius was scraped off. Check out the modern results of working this ancient craft – with stained glass, fused glass, porcelain, clay, millefiori, china, found objects, and handmade tesserae – and, even better, sign up for a class yourself.

C’mon, do I even have to mention this place? It’s like the creative opposite of a hellmouth, right there across from ACC Highland – and it’s got work by Dana Younger and Marrilee Archer and Whitney Turetzky among displays by dozens of other fine artists.

DAVID LAMPLUGH 5914 Sunshine
The most vivid styles of ancient Japan integrated with warrior animals and modern pop-culture tropes and everything blazing with color? Could be a decent sort of gambit if rendered passably in Photoshop … but Lamplugh renders it brilliantly, in acrylics on canvas, and some of these things are, I mean, huge.

GLENDA KRONKE 6910 Shirley
Eventually, over millennia, parts of trees turn into stone – and we know that as petrified wood. Sadly, parts of coral reefs never turn into glass – but, if they did, the more beautiful ones would look a lot like the marvels this artisan creates.

INDUSTRY PRINT SHOP 705 Wallingford Bend
Business as unusual: It’s creative, it’s commercial, it’s almost criminally graphic. This screenprinting epicenter run by Tony Diaz & his design-obsessed associates is a sort of inkstained heaven where the street meets the stratosphere.

All due respect to the gracious host & the other artists showing in this studio, but, listen: This is where you’ll find the eerie & unforgettable work of Judith Simonds, and what more does anybody need to know?

TOOLMARKS ATX 3900 Woodbury
Wood is worked here, worked and treated as reverently as turning it into forms of function and transcendent beauty will allow, by Shota Yamaguchi, Aaron Fox, Leslie Webb, and Philip Morley.

Imagine the natural world – the landscapes, the forests, all that lovely wilderness of our whirling planet. Imagine all that transmogrified into large oil paintings like a flood of intricate jewels, into graphite drawings like the monochrome complexities a kaleidoscope might dream of. Now see it in person, right here, in Fowler's home studio.

ADREON HENRY 2911 Medical Arts #13
It’s true: I pimp this guy every year. Because his stuff is amazing, is why. And because he’s relentless in the creation of new work, like what he’s filled the walls with here, all the intricately printed & abraded & interwoven vinyl and so on. And maybe the man’ll be streaming some of his original music in the space, too, so your ears can almost match the pleasure that your eyes are feeling.

Three artists with three distinct styles of expression. Personal? Complex? Spare? Clinical? Haunting? That’s more than three, but note: Christina Coleman, Dameon Lester, and Jieun Beth Kim. Three reasons this new gallery should be one of the stops on whatever version of the Tour you’re traveling.

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