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Where Artists Gather in Chamblee

The Urban Art Collective offers studio space to artists in and around Chamblee.

Years ago Margaret Taylor had a building constructed in downtown Chamblee. Little did she know at the start of the project that the building would eventually become the site where 38 artists would be inspired and create their artwork on a daily basis. Today, that building and group of artists are known as the Urban Art Collective.

Margaret Taylor’s own journey as an artist started out like many others. Art was more or less a hobby, until it became more. In a career as a teaching professional who taught tennis, Margaret says she had a lot of downtime during the cold winter months and when the rain set in. That's when she took up art. She started small in the basement of her home making picture frames and an occasional birdhouse or two. Then she started creating more. She made garden art, had a couple of successful furniture lines, and more. After about 30 years as an artist, Margaret refers to her journey as a successful and an eclectic one.

Eventually, when it was time for Margaret to move into a designated space, she decided to build what would end up being a two-story building in Chamblee, which Margaret admits was a little large for her needs at the time.  “My father kept saying, ‘the building is too big,’” she says. “And technically he was right.”

Once the building was completed, Margaret explained that she was approached by a businessman, who was also a portrait painter, about renting out some of her extra space. To make it cost-effective for her, the tenant brought along a couple of others looking to lease some space. It was with encouragement from those tenants, she started to realize exactly what the space could be. The tenants stressed to her that with such a beautiful building, and with so much natural light, it could really be something. “I paid attention to what they were saying,” Margaret says.  Because businesspeople were also interested in renting space, she had to make a pivotal decision. “I just decided that it needed to be strictly artists,” she says. “We try to keep it quiet so people can concentrate on getting into their groove. And with people on the phone running a business and all, I decided pretty quick to just limit it to artists.”

Margaret finished out the studio space in phases and now she has 38 studio spaces with 38 artists and a waiting list. And she’s there daily working alongside them. “They are such wonderful people, and it’s just a great group of artists,” Margaret says, of the Urban Art Collective group. “Everyone is at different stages of their art development, but everybody is passionate about their work and learning and growing. It’s a neat community and to get to show up every day and get to know the people and see how their work evolves, I just couldn’t go to a better place every day.”

But even with all the studio space Margaret has to offer, there are still more artists looking for a studio space to call their own. “It would be nice to not have to turn people away,” she says. “People (Artists) just want to do their thing. They want to get out of their home and be encouraged by a community. There are just not enough places in Atlanta.”

How can the community best support its artists? By showing up at events and purchasing local artists’ works.

The Urban Art Collective is an active group with three annual events a year open to the public. A spring event, a fall event, the Art Walk that's held in September, and the holiday event, which always takes place the first weekend in December. “They’re all wonderful,” Margaret says of the events. "The holiday event is huge. Artists are able to sell their work and people are just happy to be here. It’s a wonderful place for the community to see what’s going on and to enjoy a casual and friendly artist environment.”

For more information about the Urban Art Collective and to get information on their annual events, visit

More about Margaret Taylor and her art...

Margaret Taylor has created art and home décor using reclaimed materials for about 30 years.

Margaret explains that her art is business to business. “It’s different than traditional fine art because the sales streams are more challenging,” she says. Because she uses reclaimed materials for her products, she says her biggest challenge is finding the raw materials she needs since people aren’t taking the time to salvage old homes anymore. Her products are handmade making each item unique.

She says one of her biggest rewards in creating her art has been developing the relationships with her clients. “It’s just a nice community to be a part of,” she says.

And getting her start was a bit of a family affair. She says that in the beginning her mother would travel with her to trade shows and her father would help her build things, and she cherishes the memories of those early days.

For more information about Margaret Taylor and her business, Dryads Dancing, visit her website at

  • Artist Margaret Taylor takes a break in her studio at the Urban Art Collective.
  • Welcome to the Urban Art Collective.
  • Visitors view the artwork on display during the recent Art Walk.
  • One of the many art studios located in the Urban Art Collective building in Chamblee.