Young Blood Gallery, which just celebrated its 15th anniversary, has announced that it will close on January 6, joining a growing list of Atlanta art spaces shuttering or going virtual: Saltworks, Solomon Projects and Kiang.
Young Blood is known as much for its art and design shop, selling handcrafted items such as prints, jewelry and soap, as an experimental venue where emerging artists can garner some exposure. It has featured more than 1,200 artists over the years, including Born, Ben Venom, Lloyd Benjamin, Patricia Patterson and Matt Hafner.
Owners Maggie White and Kelly Teasley, friends since high school, launched Young Blood in 1997, mounting shows in their Grant Park home before opening a dedicated space in the neighborhood in 1999. Seeking profitability, they added a shop in 2003, offering more affordable goods by artists — a T-shirt, say, instead of a painting. Young Blood moved to its current 1,000-square-foot Poncey-Highland space in 2008. After closing, Teasley and White plan to remain involved in the art scene, periodically mounting exhibitions in alternative spaces.
Teasley told ArtsATL that the scene “has definitely progressed since we started.” She and White considered transitioning into a gallery showing more established artists, because more spaces in the city now show emerging talent. But because many of the successful artists they work with are already booked well in advance, Teasley said, “that would mean we had to be schmoozy and sell ourselves to Atlanta artists, and that was not our original mission.”
The gallery’s last show, to run December 1-29, is called “We Love Atlanta,” a group exhibition conceived by photographer Tim Moxley. It will include hundreds of photos of Atlanta scenes submitted on Instagram and tagged #weloveatl. Teasley says that half of the proceeds from the show will be donated to the Atlanta Community Food Bank.
Teasley and White are also toying with the idea of selling the business, “a fully operational business that offers very positive international brand recognition, amazing support from thousands of loyal customers, and best-selling vendors that are already in place,” according to their e-mail announcement.