Canopy Studios is another example of the movement further East by Austin artists who have been priced out of more central locations. Most have relocated in light industrial zones and have tagged on to the East Austin Studio Tour, sponsored by ArtAustin. Can we consider the move East to be part of the gentrification of East Austin or are these artists among the “victims” of rising real estate prices? It’s a hot topic, which Dr. Javier Auyero’s Ethnography students address in an upcoming co-authored publication that portrays the other side of East Austin.
West Austin Galleries are generally cast in the traditional brick and mortar mold of white walled mini museums. South Austin sports a few new spaces, but like their colleagues in the East, they tend (literally in some cases) toward the converted garage aesthetic. As a long time Austin resident, I have been part of the progressive push of the creative class from Austin’s core to destinations South and East. The myth of Austin as the Live Music Capital of the World has yet to be eclipsed by the visual art scene but with an influx of wealthy Californians, who knows? Demographic maps show Austin’s distribution of age (and wealth) has not changed much, despite gentrification. So look for most of our artists on the fringe, keeping it weird. As we can see from last week’s Canopy gallery openings, Austin still represents.