East Austin Studio Tour 2015 Family-Friendly Picks

EAST catalog

The 14th Annual East Austin Studio Tour, a FREE, massive open house for creatives, is taking place this weekend and next at hundreds of locations. If you are not familiar about the Tour, read more about it here. Catalogs are available at Austin Public Library locations, while they last, and the entire catalog is available online.

Unlike seeing art in a museum setting, in many cases EAST gives you the opportunity to see art in action, from seeing an artist’s studio to having the opportunity to ask the artist a question directly about a piece or the process of creating. Some locations have snacks and some even have opportunities for visitors to create. In short, this can be a great way to take the entire family to experience art and to purchase unique items, which support local artists (it is the holiday season, after all!)

That said, here are a few caveats if you plan to go with kids:

  • EAST can get crowded, and parking can be difficult. If you have a child who runs into the street or gets lost in crowds, EAST may not be for you. You may need to walk from your parking spot and it may be difficult to navigate with a stroller. Go early to avoid the crowds.
  • Not all art is kid-friendly. Some art features nudes, erotic art, weapons and other subject matter that you might not be comfortable with your child seeing. I make sure to research where we are going to pick what my family would be interested in. In most cases, I’ve found that I can use distraction to steer my kid in another direction.
  • Keep an eye on your children. Although EAST is a casual setting, you will still need to keep close watch over your children since you may be inside of people’s homes or studios and there can be fragile works of art. Some studios also have paintbrushes and other tools out that aren’t meant for little hands, and some stops are more kid-friendly than others.

We’ve taken some time to pore over the catalog and wanted to share the following stops and events with you in case you’d like to take your family:


Community Breakfast – Saturday, November 14 from 9:30-11am
1500 East 4th
An Instagram follower asked if a three-year-old would enjoy EAST, and that’s a hard question to answer. I suggested the Breakfast as a starting point, since it’s technically before EAST begins and there is free food and drinks and family-friendly activities, courtesy of Austin Tinkering School. You’ll have the chance to get a preview of the art and it can give parents an idea of whether to brave any of the other events happening over the weekend.

Draka the Dragon – EAST Weekends, 11am-6pm
5305 Bolm Road
Walking is one thing, but why walk when you can be transported on a 90-foot long upcycled dragon kinetic sculpture? Draka can take you to select tour locations from Bolm Studios.

Piñata Fest 2015 – Saturday, November 14 from noon until 4pm
2101 Jesse E. Segovia St.
A small herd of piñata burros are part of a TEMPO art installation commissioned by the Austin Art in Public Places Program. Picnic along the waterfront and come ready to break some piñatas at Piñata Fest. Piñatas will be sourced from Jumpolin, the store which was demolished in early 2015, and local businesses.

Creative Action Community Arts Sunday – Sunday, November 22 from 2-5pm
2921 E 17th St., Bldg. B
Enjoy art workshops, an Artist’s Panel with professional guest artists and interactive gallery tours. There will also be free snacks and a Recycled Rhythms drum circle. The Artist Panel on Social Justice will take place at 3pm and will include Florinda Bryant, Deborah Esquenazi, Bethany Parker and Puro Chingon.

ARTIST STUDIOS (Open 11am-6pm both weekends)

Scott Rolfe
1305 Glencrest Dr.
Scott has unique assemblage works of art, which feature found and discarded objects. We’ve stopped at his house for several years and have always really enjoyed what he has on display.

Chaos Woods
5335 Westminster Dr.
Husband and wife, Terry and Sarah Snow, create toys and other crafts, inspired by unique toys and comic books. Kids and adults are welcome in their studio. When we visited, there were plenty of kids, and my then 8-year-old son loved all the toys on display.

Abby Rose Mandel
3010 E 2nd St.
Abby recently posted a photo of her wearing her baby while she prepares for EAST, so we have to imagine that her playful, curious designs have been influenced by motherhood. Do note that one of her mediums is ceramics, so your littles will need to tread carefully at this stop.

Travis Seeger
4704 E. Cesar Chavez St.
Travis will feature a collection of outdoor sculptures, fire vessels and lighting elements formed in the shape of 26″ diameter spheres. Although children can’t touch these sculptures, kids seem to especially appreciate larger-scale works of art, and Travis’s work will be at Artpost, which is a great place to see a lot of different stops in one place.

EXHIBITIONS (Open 11am-6pm both weekends)

Melissa Montalvo
4721 Loyola Lane
Melissa started her career as a teenager producing fan art. She took her inspiration from manga, anime and YA literature. She creates paintings and piñatas that are both colorful and whimsical.

William Cauthern
2009-B Airport
William is part of the faculty of McCallum High School’s Visual Arts program, where he teaches sculpture and printmaking. His artwork is very accessible, features recognizable Austin landmarks and is very reasonably priced.Advertisement
Dan Mueller Art Studio
1405 Deloney St.
Eight artists will have artwork on display at this multi-tiered deckspace, built by the artist. One of the artists is 13-year-old Aspen Burrell, who creates painted art on skateboards. Complimentary beverages provided by Austin Beerworks and Tito’s Vodka.

Austin Tinkering School
1122 Airport, Suite A
The Austin Tinkering School will have a hands-on-making activity or two and tinkering projects by students will be on display.

Art by Brian Phillips
5305 Bolm Rd., Bays 2-3
Brian uses salvaged wood and repurposed wood to make works of art. As a bonus, his work will be displayed at Revival Cycles, so any vehicle-loving kids can also oogle some pretty cool motorcycles.

LUPE Art and Latinitas: The Art of Empowerment
4926 E. Cesar Chavez
This exhibit is inspired by sacred dreams, storytelling, the Chicano experience and the unique experience of young Latinas. The event will showcase work created by girls in the Club Latinitas program at 10 Austin elementary and middle schools.


little e.a.s.t.
Saturday, November 21 from 10am-3pm
1712 E. 11th St.
This collaborative showcase features East Austin student artwork at the Blackshear Elementary Fine Arts Academy. Bring your child for the unveiling of the Hatch Workshop’s unique storyteller chair sculpture with community storytellers, student performances from Shakespeare, musical performances by S.W.A.N., craft stations and more.

Kealing Visual Arts Exhibition
Saturday, November 21 from 10am-6pm
Check out work from students enrolled in the Kealing Visual Arts Program, where students learn new techniques and sharpen their skills while exploring art history and making 2D and 3D compositions.


The Library’s first human-powered mobile library fleet, unbound: sin fronteras, shares books, information and online resources with the community at non-traditional venues. You can even sign up for a Library Card! Funded by the Austin Public Library and the Austin Transportation Department’s Active Transportation Program (formerly the City of Austin Bicycle Program), the unbound: sin fronteras fleet is made up of a cargo trike from Haley Trikes in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and a custom-built trailer by local builder Saila Bicycles. Both are hand-painted by Red Rider Studios, who recently relocated to Taylor, Texas.

Spot the unbound: sin fronteras bike trailer and trike on Saturday, November 14 at the following times and locations:

11 AM Dual Language Storytime
Terrazas Branch, 1105 E. Cesar Chavez St.
Join us for books, rhymes and songs at this special outdoor storytime for children of all ages.

12:30 PM Pop-Up Library
Camiba Gallery and Cuvee Coffee, 2000 E. 6th St.
Camiba Gallery is a designated East Austin Studio Tour location. Browse some art then come check out our pop up library.

2 PM Web Programming and Zines
Carver Branch, 1161 Angelina St.
Learn basic coding for web design. You can bring your own laptop if you have one. While you’re here, stop by the Austin Zine Fest hosted next door to the Library at the Carver Museum.

3:30 PM Pop-Up Library
Austin Daily Press & Juiceland, 1900 E. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
Visit our pop up library in the parking lot of these two local juice spots.

After that, look for #APLunbound at various East Austin Studio Tour sites.

What’s your favorite place to take the family during EAST?

[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]http://www.livemom.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/Nicole-Basham-Sara-Marzani-Photography-livemom.jpg[/author_image] [author_info]A native Austinite and soccer-playing mom, Nicole uses her 9-year-old son as an excuse to rediscover her hometown through his eyes. In Thoreau’s words, her mission is to “suck out all the marrow of life”, or in her son’s words, to cultivate in him a love of “advenchers”.[/author_info] [/author]

About Nicole Basham 793 Articles
A native Austinite and soccer-playing mom, Nicole uses her 10-year-old son as an excuse to rediscover her hometown through his eyes. In Thoreau's words, her mission is to "suck out all the marrow of life", or in her son's words, to cultivate in him a love of "advenchers".