East Austin Studio Tour

November 20, 2006

I took in the E.A.S.T. (East Austin Studio Tour) this past Saturday and was impressed by much of what I saw. It was a lovely day for a bike ride, which is the best way to see E.A.S.T. As always, the boys at Okay Mountain had an intriquing mix of work, this time by their in-house artists (they dubbed the show “Staff Infection”…cute). Art Palace had some intriguing pieces in their exhibition, though I’d prefer to see a theme show there…I found this group show to be spotty. I arrived at Bolm Studios late, unfortunately, and many of the studios were shutting down, so I missed seeing some of the work I’d hoped to see. Shady Tree Studios was a disappointment. There was a wide variety of work exhibited — and much of it was quite good — but the overall feel and presentation of the space was amateurish feeling. Maybe that’s not a fair assessment, but they have such a slick website and have garnered such positive press, that I guess my expectations were too high.

At the Bread Factory on Tillery Avenue, Hank Waddell‘s work at Artillery Gallery was in fine form, as usual. Waddell has a great sense of humor that comes through in his sculpture, and yet the result is still “serious” artwork. His recent explorations of natural “found” wood painted with automotive-grade metal-flake paint creates a mind-bending juxtaposition of nature vs. technology. The new Fired Cubes pieces are the latest in that exploration, with small painted wooden cubes poking through raw sheetmetal. The effect is remarkable. Also at Artillery Gallery were new works by Shawn R. Camp. His linear “canvases” — long, narrow, and deep constructions hanging vertically on the wall — are like slices or cross-sections of his regular large-scale works. Each of these linear pieces has Camp’s thick impasto layering on the front face — which is only 1/2″ or so wide — but the sides are simple, whitewashed canvas or wood. The effect is a pleasant one

Another Bread Factory artist, Channe Felton, exhibited a newly completed large-scale painting of Clifford Antone playing a Gibson ES-335 guitar, supposedly his favorite. It’s a lovely piece, and was obviously a work of love for Felton.

Jacqueline May, also at Bread Factory, exhibited several of her braille-themed pieces, some of them 2d mixed media and others as installations. She showed this series at Dougherty Art Center a couple months ago and I found it intriguing, both aesthetically and for the fact that she invited viewers to touch her work, particularly vision-impaired guests. My favorite piece of hers this weekend was the installation of lit, glowing beads, suspended by nearly invisible poly line in such a fashion as to create, in 3 dimensions, the braille representation of “love” and “tears.” Brilliant.

My final stop at the Bread Factory was at Iona Books, to grab one of Mychal’s to-die-for cookies and talk with Edy for a few minutes, a great way to top off an afternoon biking around east Austin’s art community.


One Response to “East Austin Studio Tour”

  1. Thanks for sharing this information. Really is pack with new knowledge. Keep them coming.

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