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Solent Unviersity Southampton logo

When lockdown became a reality in 2020, the gallery recalibrated new engagement practices in response to Covid-19 after the removal of face-to-face interaction with local communities. The frustration of this disconnect and the desire to get directly involved in supporting communities creatively was a key motivation to developing Art To Go. Another key factor was that communications between cultural organisations grew exponentially, as an online method of offering solidarity and discussing how lockdown would affect the city, both culturally and mentally. From these online meetings, we were able to map the growing concern that socio-economic divisions were increasing with young people particularly affected.

Cover of an art to go pizza box

A volunteer filling one of the art to go pizza boxes

While many venues were going publicly online with great cultural content, Southampton City Council noted that children in care did not necessarily have easy access to computers and were therefore at risk of being excluded from participation. Artist, Joe Ross devised the concept of filling a pizza box full of art materials and arts activities to be handed directly to young people via key workers and carers who could deliver the boxes safely.

The contents of an art to go pizza box

Solent Showcase Gallery has launched the Connection, Community & Creativity in Quarantine initiative seeking ways to connect with our audience and contribute to community wellbeing and plans for our city’s future.

A woman holding one of the pizza boxes

A man holding a stack of art to go pizza boxes

Three women with stacks of art to go pizza boxes outside Southampton Guildhall

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