West Austin Studio Tour: Recommendations

Five suggested stops along the annual Westside visual-arts tour

Wayne Alan Brenner

Austin Chronicle

May 10, 2016

So many things to see during the two weekends of the West Austin Studio Tour, and of course you can get the best overview at the project’s own website, but we’ve got some picks for you – the sort of things you might otherwise miss, but which you should see if you enjoy beauty and professional technique and, uh, Chronicle recommendations.

Here are five for your consideration this first weekend of the WEST, and we’ll be back next week with five more. But, also, tell you what, citizen: Let us know your five favorites among the tour’s sprawling array of creative wonderment?

There is a space for comments below …

1) Katherine Robinson, the brains & stitches behind Whirling Turban’s fabulous vintage-style dresses, hosts the work of collagist Sarah Presson (she’s also responsible for this brilliant poster, btw) and multitalented sculptor Nick Schnitzer.

2) The Elisabet Ney Museum, home to classical figurative sculpture, presents Jenn Hassin, who manipulates fabric and paper to create complex abstract works of textural and visual power. Much fierce industry in evidence here: effort made manifest in eye-tangling wonders.

3) When is graphic design best applied in the interests of art? So many possible answers to that question. We suggest that several answers are evidenced in the work of Dave McClinton, whose stunning creations are on display among those Austin Art Refugees.

4) Okay. You’re not supposed to recommend one person’s work by comparing it to the work of another person, right? Because it sets up a sort of antagonism between them or something? Because it somehow lessens both? So refraining from such a comparison is a kind of unspoken rule that, when broken, marks one as a lout? Then consider this our lout rampage: If you always enjoy the work of Jennifer Balkan during the annual EAST gig, you’ll love what Melissa Grimes will show you for WEST. Two different people, two different bodies of work, yes; but go ahead and see if you disagree with our perception.

5) Batik? Bacon? Batik’d bacon? Steef Crombach. We’re just sayin’.

[NOTE: The 2016 WEST catalog is a guide to all the participants on the tour. Each artist studio and exhibition is featured with images and information – including addresses for all the venues and a fold-out map insert. The tour’s producer Big Medium is once again partnering with Austin Public Library to distribute this year’s catalogs, which are free and available to the public at all library branches.]