Liverpool-based dot-art Schools are working in partnership with Edge Hill University to launch their 10th annual art competition for schools across the North West. This year’s competition features a call to action to encourage creativity and stimulate discussion about climate change.

This year’s programme is particularly poignant because it marks dot-art Schools 10th anniversary of showcasing and celebrating children and young people’s creativity. Established back in 2012, dot-art Schools impact has grown each year, with 602 schools participating to date, and over 9000 young artists having entered their artwork.

To mark this milestone birthday, dot-art and Edge Hill are looking to the future and the importance of sustainability by inviting children to create art themed around protecting the environment, to highlight the importance of looking after our planet.

The dot-art Schools 2020/21 winners exhibition

Carolyn Murray, dot-art Schools Project Manager said “For the first time ever we are introducing an optional theme for artwork submitted to dot-art Schools: Protecting Our Environment. Suggesting a theme is unique in the competition’s history, but as climate change is the biggest challenge facing the whole world, we wanted to offer this important focus as one way to raise awareness and generate discussion.

“We are so pleased to be working with Edge Hill to amplify this message, alongside continuing to champion creativity and nurture artistic talent. To support this, we will be offering artist led environment focussed workshops, exciting eco prizes and activities, as well as practical tips to help us all make positives changes.”

Dr Helen O’Keeffe, Associate Dean in the Faculty of Education said “We’re really excited to be supporting dot-art again this year and celebrating this milestone birthday with them.

“We also can’t wait to join them in starting discussions about climate change in schools. It combines our passion for keeping arts in the curriculum while promoting our shared belief in educating children about climate change and the environment. We are all looking forward to seeing more schools than ever sign up to the competition this year.”

The competition itself is an inter-school, interactive, online art competition for Year 5 and Year 9. Taking part encourages children to explore their artistic side, increasing their self-esteem by celebrating their art, as well as giving pupils a chance to express thoughts and feelings through creativity. The initiative culminates in an exciting, and much anticipated public exhibition of the chosen artworks in Liverpool in June 2022.

The 2020/21 secondary school winner

This term also sees the launch of dot-art Schools new sister project Art Bytes. This new national programme combines an inter-school art competition with virtual gallery technology, allowing schools across England to raise students ambition and develop confidence, as well as support their mental health and help develop vital skills for future employment.

As the leading project partner, Edge Hill is nationally renowned for high quality teacher training and has a long history of teaching education going back to its foundation in 1885. The University will provide dot-art with access to schools all over the North West, expanding the initiative and allowing more children than ever to take part. It will also provide a great opportunity for students to learn more about teaching art and supporting the mental health of their pupils.

Edge Hill University runs a number of courses in education and teacher training. Visit the website www.edgehill.ac.uk/education for more information on all the education courses available.

To find out more about dot-art Schools, visit schools.dot-art.com , for Art Bytes see artbytes.co.uk or for further information please contact Carolyn Murray on 0345 017 6660 or [email protected].