Gallery owner has experiential artistic visions for Chamblee

One of several open spaces of EBD4

One of several open spaces of EBD4

EBD4 Gallery in Chamblee is an ever-evolving work of art. It serves as a working studio, gallery space and event venue for owner and artist Elyse Bynum Defoor. Defoor wants it to be an epicenter for arts in the community

As one enters the nondescript strip center gallery space, impactful photography of Defoor’s work with wedding gowns draws guests into a larger space centered around a incomplete sculpture comprised of black leather belts that have been collected during the previous 20 years. The sculpture is one of many that may cause guests to linger for closer inspection as it may evoke memories of eras past and present.

A resident of the Chamblee area since 2001, Defoor majored in art at the University of Georgia and worked as a graphic designer after graduation. She later attended the Atlanta College of Art; she said her experiences there propelled her back into art as a full-time focus. 

Defoor, whose work has been featured throughout the Southeast and the subject of a PBS documentary, draws her inspiration from what she describes as the energy found within each of us. Personal metaphors have become inspirations which allow her to express internalized emotions, she said.

Elyse Bynum Defoor, owner of EBD4

Elyse Bynum Defoor, owner of EBD4

As a longtime resident and new business owner in Chamblee, Defoor wants to see a vibrant arts scene develop in the booming city. She said with the number of new, upscale housing developments in the city, an interactive gallery space nearby could become akin to a community center that could bring non-residents to the area who previously may not have had a reason to venture out in Chamblee and help to create a sense of community for new residents.

Defoor describes her new space as multifunctional and adaptable, explaining that it allows for display of her large-scale works and offers space for the display of others’ works. She will present an invitational exhibit called “40 Over 40” Nov. 11 through Dec.15 to show “that fresh ideas and talent comes from people of all ages, and that artists with decades of life experience have even more to offer,” according to Defoor.

The artist  and business owner said she would like to be a pioneer in the Chamblee arts community as the city experiences unprecedented growth and rebrands itself as thriving urban community. EBD4 can be a catalyst to the arts scene in Chamblee by offering public art exhibits, poetry readings and dance performances in the space, she added

Defoor mused about the possibility of a regularly scheduled art walk event that would include stops throughout the city as outlined in a development plan and referred to as Chamblee’s Art Block. 

Defoor’s ultimate wish is for a large-scale art structure in downtown Chamblee that would welcome the entire community. She has already developed a concept of an open space built of iron that would replicate the shell and structure of a cathedral and allow for display of various forms of art. She prefers outdoor installations that are experiential rather than flat. “I can do it, I can plan it, I can make it happen”, she said.

Defoor said she also has the ability to envision how a space can be changed through art and has always created installations that evoke feelings as viewers see and experience the space. She wants to make a connection with the public and help dispel the image of a gallery being a space where nobody talks. “I look at art as a heart connection more so than a cerebral impression. I want art to speak to me and make my heart sing. I also want to give others the opportunity to have a more personal connection with art.”


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