If you’re like us, the term “artist colony” conjures up images of a bunch of dirty hippies in the middle of nowhere, “finding themselves through their art,” and potentially smoking questionable herbs in the nude. Tannery Row Artist Colony is nothing like that.

A place for people of all ages to explore creativity and the visual arts in a nurturing and inviting atmosphere, Tannery Row features 15 working art studios where visitors can witness painters, sculptors, potters, printmakers, jewelers, mixed-media artists and others hard at work on their craft.

“When we are considering artists, we require examples of their work to get an idea of where they are in their artistic travels,” said artist Judy Isaak. “We prefer someone who has the time to be present here as often as possible so that all of the studios stay open during the day.”

Guests are encouraged to stroll the halls, watch the artists, and ask questions. Many of the artists offer private lessons, and the space frequently hosts artist talks, family-friendly activities, and artist-driven community events, as well as a gallery of rotating exhibits.

Housed along the railroad tracks in downtown Buford, Tannery Row Artist Colony is located within the historic Bona Allen collar factory building. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the 10,000 square-foot brick building was originally built in 1897 as a woodworking factory before being converted into a tannery. The top floor was removed, creating 20-foot ceilings and providing natural light for the artists. Once the largest horse collar factory in the world, the space has been home to the creation of bridles, mail satchels, saddles (Roy Rogers famously bought one for his horse Trigger), baseball gloves, shoes…and now, art.