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The welcoming environ at Young Blood, Photography by Kelly Teasley

Primal Instincts

by Margaret Watters | Jezebel magazine | September 2, 2011

Young Blood—ATL's popular Poncey-Highland gallery and retailer for the underground art scene was, at the time of its opening in '97, a collection of friends. Artists Shana Wood, Caroline Smith, Kelly Teasley and Ryan Lincicome were on the hunt for something different for artists and crafters that welcomed newcomers and embraced alternative art. They were some of the first at the graffiti art party. Fast-forward 13 years. ... The gallery and shop are hugely popular, and the four founders remain friends and collaborators, albeit spilt by geographic distances. They've never done a show together, until now.

The title of the gallery's September show (opening Sept. 10) is Canis Felis Optimus Companio—Latin for "dog, cat, best companion." The four artists are animal lovers, and the show features—you guessed it—portrait art of dogs and cats. "It's exciting for us to get back together," Teasley says. "Dogs and cats are best friends or old pals to a lot of people, so it fit well."

Individually, the artists are producing for the theme and collaborating on a few pieces. Teasley is attempting a portrait drawing of every cat and dog breed—a challenging feat, given there are more than 100 for each animal. The collaborative art, or "chain mail" as Wood calls it, has been bouncing from artist to artist, as each person adds to the piece before mailing it to the next.

Want some woof for your wall? The gallery asked artists to create works for a range of prices—art will be on sale from $40 to $500, retail. 636 N. Highland Ave., 404.254.4127, youngbloodgallery.com