dot-art Schools Exhibition
dot-art Schools Exhibition
dot-art Schools Exhibition

Sign Up

Download the Entry Form.

Download the Teachers Information Leaflet

The Programme

dot-art Schools Cheshire is an interactive, online, inter-school, art competition, taking part on an annual basis and culminating in an exhibition in a central location. Open to primary (year 5) and secondary (year 9) schools in Cheshire West & Chester, Cheshire East and Warrington, 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.

dot-art Schools was orginally launched in the Liverpool City Region in 2012, where is continues to operate on an annual basis. In September 2016, thanks to a new partnership with Liverpool John Moores University, a parallel second programme was launched for the Cheshire region which we hope will be as successful as the first!

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 gallery showcasing the artwork with the most votes from each participating school. The overall winner and two runners up in both age categories are chosen and announced at the prize giving ceremony.



Overall winner

  • 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: dot-art.co.uk/artist/)
  • Tickets to see the latest exhibition at Tate Liverpool.
  • A pair of tickets to a show at Storyhouse.
  • Art materials goody bag

Runners Up x 2

  • Tickets to see the latest exhibtion at Tate Liverpool
  • A pair of tickets to a show at Storyhouse.
  • Art materials goody bag


Overall winner

  • Tickets to see the latest exhibtion at Tate Liverpool
  • A pair of tickets to a show at Storyhouse.
  • Art materials goody bag
  • FOR THE WINNING SCHOOL - £250 voucher for playground equipment from Playdale Playgrounds.

Runners Up x 2

  • A pair of tickets to a show at Storyhouse.
  • Art materials goody bag

All shortlisted artists (3 from each partipating school) 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

Download the Entry Form.

Download the Teachers Information Leaflet

dot-art Schools was first launched in the Liverpool City Region in 2012 and since then over 5000 children have taken part from almost 300 schools. We have held exhibitions at the Domino Gallery, the Walker Art Gallery, St George Hall, Mid Cheshire College and Liverpool School of Art and Design and each year, three children from each participating school have been presented with a certificate by the Lord Mayor of Liverpool or a corresponding dignatary from Cheshire, as well as a range of prizes awarded. In response to feedback from schools, in September 2016 we changed the primary age group from Year 6 to Year 5.

In September 2016, thanks to our new partnership with LJMU, dot-art Schools also launched in Cheshire. A small group of Primary and secondary schools in Cheshire West & Chester, Cheshire East and Warrington took part in the pilot year of our second region in 2016-17 and from September 2017 onwards we invite all schools in the region to take part in the programme.

We are pleased to announce that from February 2018, dot-art Schools is an Artsmark Partner. Artsmark is the creative quality standard for schools and education settings, awarded by Arts Council England, recognising their commitment to high quality arts and cultural education. dot-art Schools is proud to be supporting schools and education settings on their Artsmark journey, inspiring children and young people to create, experience, and participate in great arts and culture.

Find out more about Artsmark at artsmark.org.uk To find out how we can support your Artsmark journey, contact Carolyn on 0345 0176660.

dot-art Schools Artsmark Partner

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

Key Facts 2017-18:

  • 19 schools participated.
  • 283 student art works displayed online.
  • 1500 votes cast.
  • 6000 unique visitors to the website.
  • 19 student art works were showcased to the public at Storyhouse, Chester
  • 108 guests including 42 students, their families and teachers celebrated at prize giving ceremony in the Garret Theatre at Storyhouse.
  • 250 visitors to the exhibition at Storyhouse, Chester (including The Queen and Duchess of Sussex)!
Feedback from schools:

  • “What a fantastic event and such great art work. Brilliant to be here this evening with pupils and parents, looking at the work on display. Very proud teacher!”
  • “I wanted to express my gratitude for opportunities like dot-art Schools to celebrate the “small and every day wins” that usually go unnoticed at school – especially at a time where the family are going through some issues.”
  • “It has been a long time since we have had something of this calibre to promote and celebrate the work of our young artists”

Feedback from exhibition visitors:

  • “Carry on with all your wonderful work. dot-art is an inspirational organisation and needed now more than ever."
  • "Just amazed at the young talent. Some of the work is so good I thought it was done by adults.”
  • "Really high standard. I’m amazed by the Owl – beautiful"

Key Dates 2018-19:

  • September 2018 – School recruitment for 2018-19 programme begins.
  • December 2018 – Deadline for schools to sign up.
  • February 2019 – Deadline for schools to submit work for competition.
  • April 2019 – Online voting period.
  • June 2019 – Prize Giving Ceremony.
  • June 2019 – Exhibition of winning works.


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 was founded in Liverpool in 2005 and specialises in affordable, high quality, locally sourced art. We work with over 100 artists to provide an unrivalled choice of original art and limited edition prints for home or business, as well as offering a range of complementary services including; commissions, art rental, art consultancy, exhibition planning and implementation, bespoke framing, art valuation and restoration and artist sourcing. See: dot-art.com

All our work supports our not-for profit arm dot-art Services CIC, which exists to support North-West based visual artists, both emerging and established, through a range of services and opportunities designed to help them develop their careers and gain exposure and promotion for their work, as well as delivering a programme of adult art classes at a range of venues across Liverpool (see: dot-art.co.uk/art-classes); and dot-art Schools, our innovative inter school art competition, launched in 2012. See: services.dot-art.com.