The South London Gallery (SLG) was established on its current site between Peckham and Camberwell in 1891 by philanthropist William Rossiter to ‘bring art to the people of south London’. The gallery usually welcomes 160,000 visitors annually and comprises exhibition galleries across two beautiful buildings, education spaces, a café, shop and artist designed garden, plus a free drop-in art space called Art Block for local children on a neighbouring housing estate.
The SLG consistently receives positive feedback from visitors, artists and peers, and has won several awards, most recently being a joint winner of the Art Fund’s prestigious Museum of the Year prize in 2020. Our success has been thanks to our acclaimed exhibitions programme, our embedded approach to engaging local residents in our work, and innovative partnerships.
Providing opportunities for learning and participation is at the heart of the Gallery’s purpose, and thousands of children, young people and adults take part in an extensive programme of free activities every year. This includes a peer-led young people’s forum for 14-20 year olds; free family workshops; after-school creative play at Art Block; artist-led projects and commissions on local estates; ongoing provision for school visits; and a programme funded by BBC Children in Need for looked-after children.
It has been a difficult year for the SLG and we have had to close our buildings for six months, adapt our programmes to take place digitally and pilot new ways of working in response to the pandemic. We received emergency support from Arts Council England which means we can sustain our activity until the end of the year however, with our visitor numbers down by 50% due to capacity restrictions and with the additional costs of ensuring the gallery operates safely, 2021 threatens to be the most financially challenging in our history. Your support will help keep us free of charge and able to meet the challenges ahead, and continue to offer inclusive opportunities for people to be creative, to be inspired and to support wellbeing through the arts.
Donations will help the SLG to:
-continue to support artists by providing paid opportunities to exhibit work in a Covid secure way, take part in events, commissions and residencies;
-produce innovative digital content and events online while social distancing measures are in place;
-continue to provide a blend of creative resources and online exhibition tours for our partner schools in Southwark with activities for pupils to do in the classroom while exhibitions are closed;
-and devise new programmes in response to the changing social and political landscape, for example, our new project 'Making Sense' a collaborative online learning resource where partner schools, community groups and individuals can explore using creative practice as a tool for anti-racism.