east austin studio tour

Tyler Pratt for KUT News

The East Austin Studio Tour (EAST) returns this weekend.  So grab a bicycle, some friends and (maybe) some cash, then head over to the east side to see work showcased by hundreds of Austin artists.

The tour runs Nov. 8-18, but is free and open to the public this weekend (Nov. 10-11) and next (Nov. 17-18), from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Since the tour will be taking place over the crowded Formula 1 weekend, it is possible the EAST tour may be a great recreation alternative for locals looking to avoid to the congestion and traffic the festival will bring in downtown.

Photo courtesy flickr.com/allaboutgeorge

In East Austin, there’s a sight more common than new condos, food trailers and Tejano bars repurposed into young, hip "dives:" It's the poster seen above.

“Artists & Hipsters: How are you helping to gentrify East Austin? What are you doing to fight it?,” the poster reads. The earliest date we can find for a photo of the poster on Flickr goes back to 2008, but longtime Austinites (including this author) remember seeing the poster even before then.

The poster has captured the attention of one eastside artist, who’s looking to create a dialogue around its message.

Photo by Robert Banh http://www.flickr.com/photos/robertbanh/

Art studios in East Austin will be open to the public this weekend as part of the East Austin Studio Tour (also known as E.A.S.T.). It starts Saturday and has various events and exhibits running for nine days. The entire event is free and open to the public.

The official preview party is not free. It's Thursday night and tickets start at $55.

Here’s how organizers describe it:  

Photo by Robert Banh http://www.flickr.com/photos/robertbanh/

There are plenty of art studios in East Austin, but not all of them comply with city, state or federal building codes. A local non-profit, the Austin Creative Alliance, says is launching a resource center and low-interest loan program to help artists on the East Austin Studio Tour (E.A.S.T.) bring their workspace up to code in time for the tour in November.

The ninth annual East Austin Studio Tour (also known as E.A.S.T.) kicks off tomorrow. It's a free, self-guided tour of more than 150 artist studios east of I-35. E.A.S.T. runs from Saturday, November 13 until Sunday, November 21.