Miss A Columnist

Kayla Klepac was born in Austin and continues to call it home. She earned her degree in Journalism at the University of Texas. Her love of writing began with poetry, which she continues to write and share with friends. She’s a hobby collector who has tried her hand at boxing, painting, playing bass guitar, and jewelry making. She loves going to concerts and watching sad, artsy movies.
Kayla likes to offset the effects of her chronic sweet tooth with frequent dance classes. She’s inspired by fashion photography. Her favorite way to spend an afternoon is by reading stacks of magazines or hunting for one-of-a-kind vintage at thrift stores.

West Austin Studio Tour

If the words “art tour” harken memories of school field trips spent being herded through a museum, bored to death, prepare for an entirely difference experience. We’re in the midst of the second annual West Austin Studio Tour, which is a self-guided tour of art spaces around the city.  It is produced by the Austin-based non-profit, Big Medium, with support from the City of Austin and Austin Public Libraries. It’s a great way to see where art is made and talk about it with the artists themselves. The event is free and open to the public.

Artwork on display at Dumont Studio (Photo Credit: Kayla Klepac)

Artwork on display at Dumont Studio (Photo Credit: Kayla Klepac)

A map of participating locations is available online, or a copy can be picked up at any Austin library. The more complete, full-color catalog (which makes a lovely collector’s item after the tour is over,) is available for purchase at select galleries. Finding your new favorite artist can be as simple as flipping through the guidebook, finding a piece that strikes you, and setting off for the studio where you can learn more about it.

The diverse group of venues includes repurposed public buildings as well as artists’ homes. On Sunday, I checked out vibrant, kinetic paintings by Linda Dumont and Barbara Paris. They were displayed in a pilates studio in my neighborhood. I loved seeing how many working artists are right in my backyard. It also takes away some of the reverence and pretense inspired by the traditional gallery setting. I felt more like I was at a garage sale, except I got to peruse amazing paintings, sculptures, and photography instead of old paperbacks and rickety furniture.

Artwork by Briar Bonifacio and Jason Archer (Photo Credit: Briar Bonifacio)

Artwork by Briar Bonifacio and Jason Archer (Photo Credit: Briar Bonifacio)

Jason Archer welcomed me into his house, or stop #156, which was converted into a gallery. Guests filtered through and Archer offered them drinks.  He explained the process of working with fellow artist Briar Bonifacio on several collaborative pieces. Both have very distinct styles, but a shared tendency to work with icons and characters. I like how Bonifacio uses simple text and brings out the personality of cute, anthropomorphic objects. You won’t have trouble finding artists you like. Most of the artwork is for sale, and you’ll definitely be tempted to take something home with you.

Over 200 artists will be featured, and that’s only the western half of the city! If you enjoy the event this weekend, you can look forward to the East Austin Studio Tour, which has been going on for 10 years and takes place in the fall.



WHEN: Saturday, May 4 – Sunday, May 5, 2013  from 11 – 6 p.m.

Various locations in West Austin
Find a free map here or purchase a guidebook here.
Ph. 512-939-6665

Admission is free.

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