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As you will no doubt be aware that in line with government advice, Southend Borough Council has decided that most of its public venues will be closed in response to the spread of coronavirus. The Beecroft Art Gallery, Prittlewell Priory and visitor centre, Central Museum and Southchurch Hall will be closed to the public until further notice. 

Unfortunately the 59th Essex Open, along with all of the exhibitions booked and planned for this year, has been postponed. However, with many artists using social isolation as an opportunity to be creative and not always with a platform to show their creativity we are very pleased to be able to announce that on Monday 1st June we will be launching the very first (and hopefully last!) #LockDownOpen.

Unlike the Essex Open, work can be submitted to the #LockDownOpen by anyone, geography and age are no barrier. We simply want to create a space for you to share your work for others to see. The only thing we ask is that you are a follower of @BeecroftGallery twitter account at the time you submit work.

Once the thread goes live on June 1st just add your image, the title of the work, the medium, your username and most importantly #LockDownOpen. If you have any remaining characters feel free to include any other detail you wish to add.

On this occasion the work will not be selected, however we hope to honour, in some way, the most ‘liked’ images posted in their various mediums, even if it is just in kudos.

Whilst I understand that it’s not the same and it will not be for everyone, I do hope it will be a place for you all to feel connected to an event, the Essex art community and a place to show how hard it is to suppress the creative spirit.

Please all continue to take good care and we look forward to seeing your work on the Beecroft Twitter page from June 1st.

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