Big Medium is a non-profit organization dedicated to championing and cultivating artists and the contemporary arts in Austin and across Texas. Through our programs and partnerships, we are working to foster the arts and facilitate an inclusive cultural dialogue between artists and their communities.
WHAT WE DO
Big Medium produces the East Austin Studio Tour (East), the West Austin Studio Tour (West), the Texas Biennial, and presents innovative exhibitions throughout the year in the Big Medium Gallery. We also provide studio space to artists at Canopy and Bolm Studios, and umbrella several artists and creative organizations through our Sponsored Projects program.
2017 is a momentous year for us, with the return of our statewide program, the Texas Biennial, and the launch of our newest program, the Tito's Prize. Through the Tito's Prize, one Austin-based artist will be awarded $15,000 and a solo exhibition in the Big Medium Gallery.
Big Medium supports artists and the contemporary arts through programs that reach our whole city and state! The programs provide accessible art experiences to the public, offer economic development opportunities for artists, and increase tourism to benefit our community as a whole.
Here's a glimpse of our impact:
• We host over 80 local artists in our studios at Bolm and Canopy.
• The East Austin Studio Tour and West Austin Studio Tours collectively include over 750 artists at all stages of artistic practice. Each program attracts a collective 50,000 visitors, ranging from local neighbors to international travelers.
• The Texas Biennial unifies our arts community across the state through curated art exhibitions and collaboration with over 73 fellow non-profit art organizations all over Texas.
• Big Medium Gallery brings innovative contemporary art to Austin by exhibiting 6 or more solo and group shows in our space each year.
• We support 20+ creative organizations in our community through our Sponsored Projects program, including the Museum of Human Achievement, Attendance Records, Fields Magazine, and ATM Gallery.
Help us reach our goal of raising $10,000 on Amplify Day 2017!
Big Medium brings artists and audiences together through unique artistic experiences (100,000+ people annually). Providing access to these experiences is our priority, so our programs are free and open to the public.
We thank our supporters who make this possible, and we ask for your new and continued giving to help our programs thrive.
"We first experienced the East Austin Studio Tour in 2003 and have evolved from attendees to strong supporters of the event and the impact it has for artists and the visual arts community in Austin. Foremost, it is an unmatched event for connecting individual artists in Austin with those who appreciate their work on a personal level. This had a direct impact on our outlook on Austin art; changing us from museum-goers to direct patrons of Austin artists. We have had an opportunity to talk with dozens of artists at each event, see more diverse art than we would in a year of visiting galleries, and feel the direct impact a purchase of their work would have on their motivation for continuing their passion. Moreover, it has been a gateway to the visual arts community for us...due to the personal relationships that were built by East and their invitation for us to get involved all year round." - Joel and Elisa Sumner, Big Medium Supporters
"Having a solo exhibition at Big Medium was a huge opportunity for me. The gallery provided a fantastic platform to show my work, and I learned so much through the process. The Big Medium Gallery is an essential point in Austin's arts community, an innovative and welcoming space where artists and audiences grow together." - Lauren Moya Ford, Big Medium Gallery Artist, 2016
"As an organization, Big Medium is small but mighty. They have blazed trails within the contemporary art community in Austin. Big Medium has set the standard for grass roots organization with an impressive 'build it yourself' attitude that has inspired organizations to take risks and push the barriers of their own limitations." - Leslie Moody Castro, 2017 Texas Biennial Independant Curator
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Oliver Franklinby Oliver Franklin
Thanks in large part to Big Medium, I see art, done by folks like me--just regular people, perhaps with a stronger sense of metaphor than some, but regular generally. And when I see something I like (which is almost always), rather than uttering an awed and reverent, "Wooow! They did that!", I say "Wow! I can do that!" I used to be quite stricken with anxiety when I would create art, because I always felt it wasn't worthy if it wasn't Picasso or Pollock. The thing is, art is about exploring and sharing, not about preaching. You don't have to be famous or even "good" to make art. You just do it. And if people respond, great! And the more you refine your work that you do for fun, the clearer your resonance is. Like all these other folks, all these Austinites, learning to explore and share their own metaphors by reveling in those of their friends and neighbors. That's huge. That's Big Medium.
Valerie Chaussonnetby Valerie Chaussonnet
My most important and earliest connection to Big Medium was through the EAST studio tour about 10 years ago. I live on the south west side of town and my children were very small then, so it took some time for me to be aware of it. EAST is one of my favorite events in Austin, consistently, year after year. I would say Big Medium was absolutely crucial in developing my connection to the artist community and my friendships, and therefore strengthening my own activity as an artist. Now, as of last year, I myself participate in WEST.
I love what you guys do. Thank you.