The Austin Chronicle Press

Taming the East Austin Studio Tour

With EAST’s huge growth, artists work to keep the focus on their art and creative process

Longtime participants in the East Austin Studio Tour have rosy memories of a time when visitors would languidly bike or walk from backyard to backyard. “The first five or eight years of EAST, people would get on their bike, and they would go on this quest – really a pilgrimage. It was awesome!” Jennifer Chenoweth recalls, sitting at the kitchen table in her house, which accommodates, in addition to a friendly bevy of children and dogs, EAST destination Fisterra Studio. With quick growth, though, came an overwhelming change of pace for visitors and artists. “Around 2010, we had way too many people here. It was shoulder-to-shoulder strangers shuffling sideways and not talking.” Chenoweth grimaces. “Right after that, Canopy got built. It kept growing by numbers, so the audience spread out a little, and it was like, whew, back to good conversations. But a lot of artists who didn’t have a bunch of guest artists just didn’t get much traffic.”

These growing pains have been felt by other artists, some of whom, as Chenoweth says, counterintuitively saw their foot traffic decline even as the event exploded. Amanda McInerney, a founder and member of Artists Screen Printing Co-op (ASPCO), showed me around their workspace, where she lamented that more people don’t veer slightly off the well-worn paths of EAST to take in their work and process. She attributes a lot of the dwindling of traffic to luck with location, saying, “It’s like we just missed the curve.”

Abstract painter Andrew Long remembers EAST’s beginnings as a natural extension of a community of artists who saw one another frequently around the neighborhood, at coffee shops in the morning and in between working in their studios. Chenoweth was also part of this community of artists who embarked on the project with the idea of showcasing artists where they worked. She remembers before EAST: “It’s not that there weren’t good artists who lived here; they just didn’t show here. People were like, let’s make an art scene. We know the artists, we know their work is amazing, so let’s make this happen.”


The Austin Chronicle Press

Critics Table Tops at 25

The nominees for the 2016-17 Austin Critics Table Awards

Austin Opera’s The Manchurian Candidate (Photo by Erich Schlegel)

A lot of stage productions, concerts, and art exhibitions were mounted around town between May 1, 2016, and April 30, 2017, and now, for the 25th time, members of the Austin Critics Table have settled on what was outstanding in dance, classical music, visual art, and theatre in that span and announced the nominees for the 2017 Critics Table Awards.

The awards mark their 25th anniversary with an influx of new members (15, from online journals and outlets Conflict of Interest TX, Central Texas Live Theatre, Broadway World Austin, Arts & Culture Texas, and Austin Entertainment Weekly) and a reorganization of the traditional honors into 25 categories – five each in the five areas of theatre, design, dance, classical, and visual arts. That’s a significant drop from past years, but be advised: If you don’t see a particular category below, that doesn’t mean work in that field won’t be recognized. Additional honors will be bestowed through “special citations,” some of which will now reflect an individual critic’s recognition of outstanding work.


Melanie Hickerson Events

EAST at Art 84

Art 84 Teams up with Fisterra Projects for Dance + Music + Art EAST Exhibition

Art 84’s second Dance + Music + Art exhibition combines forces with Fisterra Projects for this year’s East Austin Studio Tour (EAST). New offerings at the venue on 84 Waller Street include a sculpture garden, dance parties and a video premiere.

Jennifer Chenowith, founder of Fisterra, and Larry Vanston, the visionary behind Art 84, have been neighborhood friends for years as well as avid dancers. Their collaboration at this year’s Art 84 will certainly be a must-visit spot on the 2018 EAST tour.

Vanston’s home, just east of downtown, will turn into an art gallery for two weekends showcasing 11 visual artists both indoor and out—working in a range of mediums from painting, drawing, photography, sculpture and video. And for the first time, Vanston and the exhibition team will temporarily transform the backyard outdoor space into a sculpture garden and live music/dance venue.

Featured 3-D artists include Amy Scofield, Valérie Chaussonnet and Emily Hoyt-Weber. Scofield is known for investigating the surprising relationships between objects as diverse as sticks, recycled plastic, tires and old high-heeled shoes. Chaussonnet, who is a painter as well, will install her latest metal sculptures that paradoxically suggest weight and buoyancy. Hoyt-Weber, a featured Austin Art in Public Places “Tempo” artist at last year’s EAST, will premiere a welded geometric sculptural installation in this outdoor setting that highlights its lyricism.

The indoor space promises to excite as well, with paintings, photos and sculptures filling every room. They range from mythology and magical realism (Jose Lopez), thematic figurative work (Cornelius Carter, Melanie Hickerson), wildly colorful expressionism and abstraction (Linda Dumont, Helen Mary Vanston Marek , Alicia Philley) and lush photographs by Thierry Bignolet. To cap it all off, the artist collective Gentlemen Dancers will project their new film about the Austin two-step scene.

Live music will include some of Austin’s best jazz, tango, country, contemporary and Tejano bands at the Friday evening parties, at the Saturday evening dances and during official EAST hours both weekends. See the full band lineup below (updates at ).

The Dance + Music + Art theme celebrates Austin’s truly unique live music and social dance scene in a comfortable home setting full of wonderful Austin art.

Artist list:

Thierry Bignolet

Cornelius Carter

Valérie Chaussonnet

Linda Dumont

Melanie Hickerson

Emily Hoyt-Weber

Jose Lopez

Helen Mary Vanston Marek

Alicia Philley

Amy Scofield

Gentlemen Dancers: Ben Ruggiero, Ben Lynch, Ryan Vaughn.


Music Acts

Conjunto Los Pinkeys (East Side Tejano)

Devin Jake (Country)                       

Hora Once (Tango)

Julie Slim (International Retro Jazz)

The Goulds (Jazz /Swing)

John Culver Quartet (Jazz Standards)

Juliana Sheffield with Javier Jara

Allysa Grace


Art 84 ( operates under Fisterra Projects, a 501(c)(3) non-profit, Jennifer Chenoweth, Executive Director. Led by Larry Vanston, Art 84 promotes the idea that everyone should collect original art to make Austin the original art capital of the world. Art 84 also explores the integration of dance, music, and the visual arts, as well as the linkage between technology and art.

Fisterra Projects utilizes art to inspire and revitalize people and communities. As a cultural partner for creativity and engagement, it collaborates with experts, community organizations and individuals with art as a framework for activation. Art can inspire people to greater trust, satisfaction, and prosperity through connectedness to their community, place, and purpose.

This project is sponsored in part by the Cultural Arts Division of the City of Austin Economic Development Department. Art 84 is also sponsored in part by Austin-based Technology Futures, Inc and Tito’s Handmade Vodka.

Art 84 | Dance + Music + Art Events Schedule:

Preview Party, Friday, November 9, 7–10 pm

Art 84 Swing Dance, Saturday, November 10, 6-9  pm

Artist Appreciation Party, Friday, November 16, 7-10 pm

Art 84 Two-Step Dance, Saturday, November 17, 6-9  pm

Additional events during EAST hours. See for updates.


Place: 84 Waller Street, EAST Stops #544-555

Date/time: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., November 10-11 and 17-18

Media contacts: Larry Vanston, (512) 415 5965,; Jennifer Chenoweth, (512) 477 0658,

Sacred Space Tour Events

Wilkinsburg Sacred Space Tour

Wilkinsburg, PA is memorable for the many historic buildings within a small area. 21 of those historic buildings are churches.
For the final event of the community art project, Come Over, Come Eat, Come Play”, artist Jennifer Chenoweth will produce a tour of these buildings with arts and music programming at each location.
As the date gets closer, we will have a schedule of programming and a map of each stop. There will be a bus that transports people between stops on a route between 11a-6p.
We want to celebrate what is sacred between us within this community. The space between us is sacred.
Look forward to food, art, music and beautiful buildings at multiple stops in Wilkinsburg.
Contact us to get involved @
“Come Over, Come Eat, Come Play” by Jennifer Chenoweth in collaboration with the Wilkinsburg Community Development Corporation and the Wilkinsburg Community Art and Civic Design Commission with sponsorship by the Temporary Public Art and Placemaking Program of Neighborhood Allies and theOffice of Public Art of Pittsburgh.
We are grateful for the generous support of the Heinz Foundation and Hillman Family Foundation.
Blog Posts

EAST Fisterra Retrospective

Tammy RubinFisterra Retrospective
Exhibition Dates: April 27 – May 18, 2018
Opening Reception: Friday, April 27, 7-10pm

916 Springdale Rd Bldg 2, #101, Austin TX 78702
Gallery hours: Tue – Sat, 12-6pm

In November 2003, 28 artists opened their homes and studios for the first East Austin Studio Tour. The orange house on the corner of east 2nd Street at Waller, with its backyard studio, became a spot that thousands of visitors have returned to each year. A new group of guest artists created exhibits of their art in each room of the house, while the home cooked posole and hospitality of Jennifer Chenoweth’s house remained a staple. November 2017 was the last year for Fisterra Studio to participate in EAST in this space, but the annual event had a deep effect on Austin’s sense of community and connectedness. This show invites the 64 guest artists to collaborate again to inspire artists and art lovers about the beauty, quality and diversity of visual art in Austin.

Artists who have exhibited at Fisterra Studio since 2003*:
Aaron Weiss
Amy Scofield
Andrea Nelson
Andrea Pramuk
Annie Simpson
Autumn Ewalt
Beth Consetta Rubel
Brian McKinney
Bridget Quinn
Brooke Davis
C. Andrew Boyd
Calder Kamin
Carla Hughes
Carlotta Vann
Christina Coleman
Dana Younger
David Lovas
Dawn Okoro
Dharmesh Patel
Elise Sibley Chandler
Emma Hadzi-Antich
Erik Tragus
Felice House
Gabel Karsten
Glen Vigus
Gretchen Phillips
Holly Fisher
Jade Walker
Janine Hughes
Jason Webb
Jay Roff-Garcia
Jeff Stockton
Jennifer Chenoweth
Jennifer Hill
Jenny Sathngam
Johnny Walker
Judith Simonds
Katelena Hernandez Cowles
Katie Rose Pipkin
Kayci Wheatly
Kristen Saska Juen
L. Renee Nunez
Lauren Klotzman
Lee Webster
Lisa Choinacky
Monique Capanelli
Norman Hera
Philip Rogers
Richard Mansfield
Rob Pettingill
Robby Lee
Sebastian Miles
Shibiya Sabu
Stella Alesi
Tammie Rubin
The Afro Gypsy
The Theorists
Theresa Noyes
Todd Campbell
Valerie Chaussonnet
Virginia Fleck
Wells Mason
Will Heron

*not all are able participate in the show at Canopy

East Austin Studio Tour at Fisterra 2017 News

EAST at Fisterra Studio 2017

East Austin Studio Tour at Fisterra 2017WHAT: E.A.S.T. East Austin Studio Tour 2017 at Fisterra Studio

Austin visual artist Jennifer Chenoweth hosts her annual Austin party at her home and art studio during the 2017 EAST Austin Studio Tour. Enjoy refreshments and taste Jennifer’s homemade posole as you see her artwork in the context of where she makes the art. Fisterra Studio’s event is unique every year in that a new group of guest artists will be present with their work on display. 2017’s guest artists include:

Valérie Chaussonnet
Janine Hughes
Robby Lee
Andrea Nelson
Dawn Okoro
Rob Pettengill
Jay Roff-Garcia
Shibiya Sabu
The Afro Gypsy
The Theorists

WHEN: November 11-12 and November 18-19, 2017, 11:00 AM – 6:00 PM each day
Lunch Event Wednesday November 15, 2017, 11:00 AM – 2:00 PM

WHERE: Fisterra Studio
1200 East 2nd Street
Austin, Texas 78702
Parking limited, ride your bike or rideshare
EAST Stops #342-349

ENTRY: Free and open to the public

Jennifer Chenoweth

Visit for information about other studios on the tour.
Tour catalogs can be picked up at City of Austin Libraries starting October 30, 2017.

Cultural Arts DivisionThis project is supported in part by the Cultural Arts Division of the City of Austin Economic Development Department.




Link to PDF flyer to sponsor our event: EastSponsorship2017_2018

Use this .jpg flyer to promote event:

Serie Project Room at Austin Convention Center Writings

Local Flavor for the Austin Convention Center

Last fall, I got to work with the Austin Convention Center to select Austin art to showcase our talent to visitors. I love seeing the video we installed of Austin City Limits Lounge with footage with Dale Watson and my dancing friends. We selected 7 amazing prints by Margarita Cabrera, David Moreno, Mauro Garza, Liliana Wilson, Ruth Leonela Buentello, Rigoberto Gonzalez, and Sam Coronado from the Serie Project for a sitting room by Exhibit Hall 1. Wells Mason‘s tables make that room the loveliest spot in the whole building. Sam Coronado having inspired the screenprinting scene as showcased at the Austin Convention Center by SXSW’s Flatstock, we have artists prints for festivals made by hand by Industry Print Shop. Artist Renee Nunez created an installation on the 3rd Floor. Artist Virginia Fleck‘s mandalas are in the south lobby. We have nature photography by Joel Salcido, Jenny Sathngam, and Michelle Dapra Atkinson in a space with tables by Hank Waddell. I had the pleasure of meeting Jack White and seeing his studio to choose a piece. We have a custom glass and light piece of Reji Thomas. Two backpainted glass paintings by Eric Lee resonate. And maybe you’ll find a Hedonic Map of Austin gifted to the ACC as well. Best of all, I got to work with the talented Carla Nickerson who will continue leading the culture and curation of Austin talent for the Austin Convention Center.

NEA logo News

Awarded National Endowment for the Arts: Challenge America Grant

DATE:   December 27, 2016

CONTACT: Mason Kerwick, lookthinkmake, 512-765-9549,

Fisterra Projects to Receive $10,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts

Austin, Texas—National Endowment for the Arts Chairman Jane Chu has approved more than $30 million in grants as part of the NEA’s first major funding announcement for fiscal year 2017. Included in this announcement is a Challenge America grant of $10,000 to Fisterra Projects for the “XYZ Atlas: the Experience Map of Bryan & College Station.” The Challenge America category supports primarily small and mid-sized organizations for projects that extend the reach of the arts to underserved populations—those whose opportunities to experience the arts are limited by geography, ethnicity, economics, or disability.

“The arts are for all of us, and by supporting organizations such as Fisterra Projects, the National Endowment for the Arts is providing more opportunities for the public to engage with the arts,” said NEA Chairman Jane Chu. “Whether in a theater, a town square, a museum, or a hospital, the arts are everywhere and make our lives richer.”

“One of the biggest surprises of the XYZ Atlas is how well it fits all ages, all types of people, outside of socio-economic status. I am honored to have the opportunity to take the project to the diverse communities of Bryan and College Station. Through the support of the NEA Challenge America grant, we are able to hone this tool for community engagement. All people have a story in how we come to call a place ‘home’ and how we share that place,” said Jennifer Chenoweth, Artist.

The Fisterra Projects NEA Challenge America award supports the creation of a multimedia, interactive, community-based public art project in Bryan and College Station, Texas. A collaboration with Texas A&M University’s Department of Architecture’s Diversity Council, the project will geo-locate the community’s emotions and memories about the surrounding area. Participants will answer survey questions that correspond to strong emotional experiences in specific neighborhood areas. This data will be turned into maps and artworks that reveal a sense of belonging and attachment to the area. The communities to be reached are those that are underserved and at-risk, including areas in poverty and social fragmentation.


For more information on projects included in the NEA grant announcement, visit

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