alberto martinez 2

Painter and photographer Alberto Martinez says his works show how "one art form informs another." (Untitled work courtesy of Alberto Martinez whose studio is at 1611 Willow)

When I moved to Austin ages ago, I made it a point to get out into the city – even if it meant driving blindly and getting lost. It helped me to find my way and discover my new home. One event – the East Austin Studio Tour – was probably one of my best investments of time in understanding the community.

East Austin Studio Tour, scheduled for Nov. 12-3 and 19-20, is held at various locations. Catalogs are available at 23 Austin Public Library branches (first come first serve). Catalogs also are available online.

Find more art walks.

The 15th annual event, slated for Nov. 12-13 and 19-20, is a free, self-guided opportunity to bounce from studio to studio – whether a large, shared industrial setting or the artist’s personal home. It’s a gift from the non-profit Big Medium, which works to cultivate artists and the arts in Austin and Texas.

A beautiful catalog, available at 28 Austin Public Library branches, is a collectible itself. It pairs images of artwork with a few words from the artist – all 548 of them! The guide becomes your master plan that helps you seek out the artists whose works catch your attention. See as much or as little as you want, but you’ll likely need both weekends to make a dent in your studio wish list. That’s because you should factor in some time visiting with the artist and, in between stops, exploring neighborhoods and trying a new place out for lunch or dinner breaks.

Hopping from one artist studio to another gives you a chance to explore more parts of the city in a more intimate way – not just driving by, but stopping by and admiring the spaces used to create works of art that can be described as fascinating, twisted, rich, funny, perplexing, bright, clever and more.

It’s free to look, but I’m not kidding you when I say, you are going to come across something you want to carry home with you. This is one of the best opportunities you’ll have to find that piece (or pieces) of art that has a spot waiting for it at home. Be prepared for a purchase, just in case. And don’t deny yourself. A piece of art from the East Austin Studio Tour is like bringing in a piece of Austin to your home.

More Art for your Heart

Alpine, ArtWalk Alpine, Nov. 18-19

The 23rd Annual Artwalk, featuring 25 official galleries, honors the artists of the Big Bend Region from Nov. 18-19. Award-winning equine photographer Rachael Waller is this year’s honored artist.Festivities include silent art auction, art car parade, vintage clothing market, music and a food truck park,.

Bastrop, First Friday Art Walk, Nov. 4

Galleries, artists, restaurants, shops, and small businesses in historic downtown Bastrop come together for a showcase and celebration of art, while adding music, dining and shopping to the fun mix.

Corpus Christi, First Friday of the Month ArtWalk, Nov. 4

Downtown comes alive with artists, musicians, galleries, food and drink on the first Friday of every month.

Fredericksburg, First Friday Art Walk, Nov. 4

See regional, national and international art at 14 art galleries. In some cases, visit with the artists, too. Most stops include local foods and wines. Visit the website for details on different receptions.

Galveston, Artwalk, Nov. 26

For more then 25 years, Galveston Arts Center has organized eight ArtWalks a year in Galveston’s Historic District. For a $5 fare, trolly shuttles will travel every half-hour from the Galveston Art Center to each stop from 5:30-10 p.m.

Lubbock, First Friday Art Trail, Nov. 4

First Friday Art Trail is a free, self-guided public event that brings collectors and artists together in Lubbock’s Cultural District. The progressive art event is held at art centers, museums, galleries and business.

Trail goers, with map in hand, can explore the trail on their own or take one of five free First Friday Trolleys along the downtown route.

McAllen, ArtWalk, Nov. 4

Every first Friday of the months between September and May, McAllen hosts ArtWalk, a free, self-guided tour through the art studios, museums and galleries in the city’s oldest and most historic neighborhoods. Top stops include the Nuevo Santander Gallery, Art House, the Douglas Clark Gallery, S. Klein Gallery and Manichaus.

San Antonio, Olmos Park Terrace Uptown Art Stroll, Nov. 4-5

The two-day Self-guided tour showcases many art mediums including pottery, jewelry, photography and mixed media at more than a dozen artists’ studios and homes the first weekend in November.

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