This is Atlanta with Alicia Steele

B Complex

Watch This Is Atlanta on PBA30, Atlanta's PBS stationThe buildings at 1272 Murphy Avenue in Atlanta’s West End neighborhood once housed a foundry, cotton, and tons of industrial surplus. But while such industry is long gone, a tradition of creation and production continues here.

The B Complex may, at first glance, appear to be only abandoned warehouses, overgrown with bamboo. But look closer, and you’ll find a vibrant artists’ community. This reclaimed industrial space houses the busy studios of sculptors, painters, blacksmiths, photographers and ceramicists. Some are renters, some have bought in under a co-op system, but all have been guaranteed affordable workspace, a rarity for artists in the Atlanta area.

Is the name a reference to b-complex vitamins; a hint at how art is good for you? It certainly has those positive connotations, but really, the “B” is shorthand for the fact that the complex consists of a Bunch of Big Buildings with Bamboo in the Back.

The biggest of these buildings is a massive, ivy-covered warehouse used for gallery space, art events, and even music video shoots. Maybe the “B” also stands for the Boss, Bruce Springsteen, who recently filmed there.

These old buildings are once again humming with activity, but of a very different kind than when they were built nearly a century ago.

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