> Big Medium-Championing And Cultivating Artists And The Contemporary Arts In Austin


Big Medium is a non-profit organization dedicated to championing and cultivating artists and the contemporary arts in Austin and across Texas. By providing city and state-wide programming, affordable studio spaces, innovative exhibitions, and professional development opportunities for artists, Big Medium works to foster the arts, empower artists, and facilitate an inclusive cultural dialogue between artists and their communities.


Since its inception in 2007, Big Medium has been dedicated to supporting the contemporary arts and artists in Texas. The organization’s official formation as a nonprofit began to take root years prior, when Austin artists Shea Little, Jana Swec, and Joseph Phillips began practicing art in collaboration at Bolm Studios in 2002, and soon found themselves in dialogue with fellow artists in the surrounding East Austin community. Through engaging in their local arts community at the grassroots level, the group saw an opportunity to help support the wide spectrum of artists seeking a platform to share their work and creative practices with each other and an audience at large. Through this desire for connectivity and exchange, the East Austin Studio Tour was formed with just 28 studios in 2003. In its eighteenth edition in 2019, EAST has grown to host over 500 artist participants and 50,000 attendees each year.


Big Medium has expanded its programming each year to continue to meet the needs of artists and the growing community in Austin. Today, Big Medium proudly engages over 1,500 artists and over 100,000 attendees in artistic experiences each year.

  • East Austin Studio Tour (2003) is a city-wide free, annual, self-guided, art event during which Austin artists open their art studios to share their work and processes with the public.
  • The Big Medium Gallery (2004) provides exhibition opportunities to artists of various backgrounds and career levels and provides professional support to ensure successful planning, installation, and promotion of 6-8 exhibits annually.
  • The Texas Biennial (2005) is an independent survey of contemporary art in Texas, which has grown from a grass-roots, artist-run event to an institutionally recognized and supported exhibition.
  • West Austin Studio Tour (2011) began to offer similar EAST programming to a growing number of artist studios and spaces on the West side of Austin.
  • Big Medium moved to its current location at Canopy Austin in 2013 and currently offers studio spaces for over 60 artists at the lowest sustainable rate.

Shea Little, Executive Director

  • Art Swap (2015) is an annual casual art event that brings artists and collectors together to trade art for art, hosted in partnership with the Elisabet Ney Museum.
  • The Tito’s Prize (2017), a partnership with local beverage company Tito’s Handmade Vodka, offers a $15k cash award and solo exhibition in the Big Medium Gallery to one Austin-based artist working in any artistic media and at any stage in their career.
  • Creative Standard (2018) convenes artists regularly to provide information, professional development opportunities, and resources to create and maintain standards of professionalism and integrity for the art community to uphold.
  • New in 2019, Big Medium is leading two International Exchange programs in Spain and Korea, which seek to promote cross-cultural understanding through art, enrich artistic practices, and increase connections to Texas artists.
  • The LINE Residency (2019), Big Medium’s newest program, is an artist-in-residence program produced in partnership with the LINE Austin.

Big Medium

Canopy, 916 Springdale Rd, Bldg 2
#101 Austin, TX 78702

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