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Meet Cathy Ehrler of Studio Z in West Midtown

Today we’d like to introduce you to Cathy Ehrler.

Cathy, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
In 2001, I was searching for studio art space and found The Allied Factory an old warehouse building located near Georgia Tech on Means Street. The building had housed artists and their studios for several years and I sub-rented studio Z from the tenant at the time. In 2002, the owner developed the building into condos and my husband and I decided to purchase Studio Z to keep for my creative space. The Fishbone Gallery was also in the building and we opened our spaces for shows and exhibits over the next few years. The Fishbone moved out in 2005 and my husband and I decided to purchase the unit to renovate for our home. Studio Z remained my working space and over the years it has also housed many artists. Currently, the artist sharing space with me is Kathy Rennell-Forbes who has been here for 7 years. Joint exhibits of our work as well as visiting artists are on display to the public several times each year and the studio is open to the public by appointment. In 2017, the Means Street area became a designated Official Landmark District in the City of Atlanta.

Has it been a smooth road?
As an artist, there is always a struggle. The creative process is not without challenges, especially the administrative work that comes with the art. Over the years, I have tried many ways to sell my work – gallery shows, art fairs, online auctions, internet stores, branding and outside exhibitions and competitions. When the economy is down, the first thing cut from the budget is original art. So, the economy is definitely a factor in how smooth the road is.

No matter what the challenges, however, it is what I love doing.

We’d love to hear more about your business.
I am an environmental artist who works primarily with trash, literally. My previous work was in oil, watercolor and acrylics and I still work with them somewhat. However, I am most proud of my “Trashy Art on Means Street” project that I completed at the end of 2017. Each day for 1 year, I collected the trash on a short strip of pavement just outside my studio door, 300 steps to be exact. At the end of each week, I would take a photo of the collected trash, sort it, clean it and arrange it on a 32″ X 32″ ground without paint, tape, glue, etc. Once satisfied with the assemblage, I took a photo and then disassembled and recycled the trash. I saved the interesting “finds” and created collages coated with resin as permanent pieces. The photos are blown up to the actual size of the work, 52 works and I hope to exhibit this series in the near future in studio Z.

Is our city a good place to do what you do?
I do not think Atlanta is helpful to artists. The process to get a business license, sales tax collection and payment headaches, high overhead expenses, insurance and property taxes are a hardship.

The city should give artists some incentives to keep us around. A city without art and artists is not much of a city.

Contact Info:

  • Address: 500 Means St NW
    Atlanta GA 30318
  • Website: cathyehrler.com
  • Phone: 4043682090
  • Email: cathyehrler@yahoo.com
  • Facebook: Cathy Ehrler Artist


Image Credit:

Cathy Ehrler Artist

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