Recently I went and looked at the dot-art schools exhibition at St. George's Hall in Liverpool. The dot-art schools exhibition is an interactive online competition that is open to primary school students in year 6 and high school students in year 9 from the six boroughs across Liverpool. Over the Autumn and Spring terms the students create different pieces of art, the school select 25 and they are put on display. A panel of experts then select the top three from each school, which are put on display for the public to vote for. The pieces that I went to see in the exhibition are the pieces that the public liked the most.
As it is a competition, there are two winners, one from the primary school entries and one from the secondary school entries. The winners from the secondary school get a scholarship to dot-art which gives them the opportunity to sell their work and work alongside arts professionals, which I personally think is a great opportunity for these young people. Giving them the chance to do art in schools is one thing but giving them the chance to showcase their work to a wider audience and get recognition is a really good way to encourage more young people to take art as one of their subjects. They also win vouchers for Rennies art supplies and £250 for the winning school to spend on arts classes. Art in schools is becoming less and less important in the eyes of the government so for dot-art to be so determined to get these young people drawing and painting and giving them the equipment is really touching and something that more art companies out there could be doing. The winners also get tickets to see the next exhibition at the Tate. I think introducing children to art is important to do while they're young, they can look at art and start to find meaning in it and once they can respond to a piece of art, this is what will fuel their creativity and create the next generation of new artists.
The winner of the High School students was Nyah Boorman from St Hilda's Church of England High School, the title of her piece was 'Golden Tamarin' which she painted with acrylic paint. Just by looking at this picture I'm overwhelmed with the amount of talent this young artist has, the colours used in the animals fur is just so vibrant, you cant help but be drawn to this picture as soon as you enter the room. The winner of the primary school entries was Aidan Owen of St Bede's Catholic Junior School in Widnes. The title of his drawing was 'Boston Terrier', he created this piece of work with pencils and ink. You can really see the potential that this young man has to offer, you can tell that he has a bright art future ahead of him.
My personal favourite was 'Japanese Landscape 6' created by Katherin Barry-Magowan from Broughton Hall High School. She used watercolours to create this piece and although it doesn't have a lot of details like some of the other entries, whenever I look back at the pictures I took at the exhibition I always find myself looking at that one the longest. It's just so beautifully done an the way the black tree is brought out by the bright colours she chose just makes the piece simply amazing. The only thing I would change about this exhibition is that I personally think there should of been more. The whole exhibition was spread across three rooms with the winning pieces in, but just as I was getting into it and becoming inspired by all the talent that my neighbouring boroughs have to offer, I'd looked at it all. I think the exhibition space needs to be bigger so that more pieces can be showcased because if the talent in the rooms I saw is anything to go by, there is a lot more amazing pieces out there that I didn't get to see.
If dot-art is something you think your school would be interested in doing, or you know you teach some talented students who would love the opportunity to showcase their work, you can register your interest at schools.dot-art.com
I really enjoyed the opportunity to go along and review the exhibition this year. Now that I know more about the competition I'm going to make sure I keep up to date with everything that's happening throughout the year with them and hopefully i'll be back here with another review next year.