The Programme

dot-art Schools is an interactive, online, inter-school, art competition, taking part on an annual basis and culminating in an exhibition in Liverpool city centre. Open to primary (year 6) and secondary (year 9) schools in the Liverpool City Region. It is designed to nurture talent, raise ambition, and take art out of the classroom and into the real world. With the current threats to creative subjects on the national curriculum, dot-art Schools offers a way of keeping young people engaged with the arts, allows them to see a creative career path, and encourages them to attend exhibitions and engage with culture, outside of school.

How It Works

During the Autumn and Spring terms, each school creates and selects 25 pieces of student work which they feel best represent the talents of their students. These art works are submitted to their dot-art Schools page by February Half Term, then put on display to the world via the dot-art Schools website (schools.dot-art.com).

A panel of art experts will select the top 3 artworks from each school. Students from all the schools in the programme, as well as the general public, will then be able to vote for their favourite piece of art from the judge's shortlist. During the Summer term, an exhibition will be held at a city centre art gallery showcasing the artwork with the most votes from each participating school.


The overall winner of the year 9 entries will win a scholarship to dot-art, giving them a year's membership to dot-art's network, allowing them to showcase and sell their work alongside professional artists. (See: http://services.dot-art.com) Two runners up, as well as the winner, will win a selection of art materials and tickets to the latest Tate Liverpool Exhibition.

The overall winner of the year 6 entries, as well as the two runners up, will win vouchers for art materials and tickets to the latest Tate Liverpool Exhibition. All shortlisted artists will be awarded certificates.

This annual programme will encourage healthy competition between students and schools, as well as driving traffic to the site and therefore increasing the audience for the students' work and the profile of the school. The final exhibition will provide a wonderful opportunity for the successful students to show their work in a public setting and a fantastic way of celebrating the art work created and the school's commitment to arts education, demonstrating the quality of art produced to parents, families, local authorities and the wider community. Finally the programme can help participating schools meet many of the KS2 and 3 National Curriculum requirements for Art and Design, the criteria outlined in the OFSTED evaluation framework, as well as providing a valuable tool for schools working towards Artsmark status.


Pupils benefited greatly from the feedback received when their work was shared locally or more widely...

Schools should... build sustained partnerships with art galleries and creative practitioners.

Pupils who met with inspectors reported consistently the motivational impact of seeing their own work displayed professionally and publicly...

The public exhibition of students' work was highly effective in strengthening links between schools and the local community, including diverse community groups, different generations and those living in contrasting socio-economic circumstances.

Extracts from: Ofsted Report - Making a mark: art, craft and design education, 2008/11

Information for Teachers

During the pilot year in 2012-13, 19 schools across the city region took part, the exhibition was then held at the Domino Gallery, where the Lord Mayor of Liverpool presented the prizes and certificates. The 2013-14 programme saw 46 schools taking part and a hugely successful exhibition at the Walker Art Gallery in May 2014.

From September 2014 we are accepting new schools onto the third year of the programme, with the aim of including all schools in the Liverpool City Region, both primary and secondary, within 3 years.

Please download the document below for more details about how the programme works and the benefits it can bring:

If you would like to take part, please complete and return the following Sign Up Form:

Key Facts 2013-14:

  • 46 schools participated.
  • 1000 student art works displayed online.
  • 1900 votes cast.
  • 10000 unique visitors to the website.
  • 46 student art works were showcased to the public in the Walker Art Gallery.
  • 92 runner up artworks shown on screens in gallery.
  • 2775 visitors to the exhibition.
  • 414 people attended opening ceremony.
Key Facts 2012-13:

  • 19 schools participated.
  • 380 student art works displayed online.
  • 1240 votes cast.
  • 5500 unique visitors to the website.
  • 55 student art works were showcased to the public in a city centre gallery for 10 days.
  • 250 (est) visitors to the exhibition.

Feedback from schools:

  • “We have just looked at the art work on the website, the work looks amazing. We are so happy with the quality of all of the schools submissions. You have done a great job!”
  • “I have just looked at our page and I am very impressed with the whole project”
  • “What a fantastic event!”
  • “It has been a long time since we have had something of this calibre in the city to promote and celebrate the work of our young artists”

Feedback from exhibition visitors:

  • “What a fantastic level of skill from such talented young people"
  • "What talented youth we have in Liverpool, so impressed with all the artwork presented"
  • "A lovely exhibition with some excellent work on display, hope it encourages many of the exhibitors to become artists of the future"
  • "I didn't realise the work was all by people under 15! Rather inspiring"

Key Dates 2014-15:

  • 2nd September 2014 – School recruitment for 2014-15 programme begins.
  • 16th December 2014 – Deadline for schools to sign up.
  • 16th February 2015 – Deadline for schools to submit work for competition.
  • 1st - 30th – April 2015 – Online voting period.
  • 5th - 20th June 2015 – Exhibition of winning works at St Georges Hall.


The dot-art Schools programme has been developed by dot-art, a Liverpool based arts organisation which has been supporting artists and developing innovative and creative visual arts projects and initiatives since 2005.

We are now using our skills, experience and expertise to give the young people of the region access to an exciting new public platform for their creative output, and a taste of the way the art world works.

dot-art is made up of two arms:

dot-art Ltd is an art gallery and consultancy based in Liverpool city centre, specialising in affordable, high quality, locally sourced art, on a sale, commission and rental basis, as well as offering a range of complementary services including; art consultancy, exhibition planning and implementation, bespoke framing, art valuation and restoration and artist sourcing. See www.dot-art.com

dot-art Services CIC is a not-for-profit organisation which exists to support North-West based visual artists, both emerging and established, through a range of services and activities designed to help them develop their careers and gain exposure and promotion for their work. A Social Enterprise with artists at it's heart, dot-art Services CIC functions in a unique fashion, operating a membership system which gives artists a range of benefits including their own web page, access to exhibition, career development and promotional opportunities, as well as help and advice, networking events and discounts on art supplies and framing. See services.dot-art.com.

This project is supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England.