English art programme ‘Art Bytes’ recently announced the winners for its first national programme.
Art Bytes is open to primary, secondary and SEND schools across England and combines an inter-school art competition with bespoke virtual gallery technology.
The programme is managed by Liverpool-based social enterprise dot-art, and based on their 10 years’ experience leading the dot-art Schools project in the Liverpool City Region.
Almost 100 schools took part this year.
A panel of industry professionals selected their top three works from each school, then a public vote took place to choose the school winners, which are all exhibited in the Art Bytes Virtual Gallery.
Judge Marlene Wylie, President Elect for the National Society for Education in Art & Design, said: “Wow! What an achievement. It is excellent knowing that close to 100 schools have participated nationally in this competition.
“I remember vividly my experience of taking part in competitions at school and the important part it played in receiving recognition for something I was passionate about.
“Opportunities like this allows young people to develop, self-esteem, confidence and a sense of achievement. I am delighted to be involved in such important work!”
The judges met to select the regional and national winners of the competition, which they claimed was very hard as the standards were so high.
Judge Paula Briggs, CEO and Creative Director of Access Art, said: “It’s been a pleasure to work as part of a team judging the work. It’s been so inspiring to see all the entries and feel the passion and enthusiasm for art shine through.
“Well done everyone and even if your artwork didn’t make the final few – you’ve done a great job and keep being creative – the world needs you!”
Art Bytes have partnered with high profile cultural venues across the country, which, as well as lending their expertise in arts education, hosted a celebration event for students, teachers and families.
One of these venues is the Whitworth Art Gallery in Manchester.
Ed Watts, Head of Civic Engagement and Education at The Whitworth, said: “it was great to team up with Art Bytes on this and the celebration event we hosted was a very inspiring evening, one that the winners shall never forget. We were delighted to have the national primary winner here in the North West!“
By working with such prestigious venues, all of whom understand the enormous value of art in education, Art Bytes aims to build cultural capital and encourage young people to see galleries as welcoming, inclusive and inspiring places in their communities.
One of the national winners was Eva from Greenside Primary School in the North West. She won the year 5 competition for her work called ‘Understanding ASC’.
Research conducted by Liverpool Hope University and Curious Minds has proven the impact of the programmes like Art Bytes nurture talent, raise ambition and develop confidence.