Art Bytes invites schools across England to celebrate creativity

Art Bytes is a new, national programme for primary, secondary and SEND schools, combining an inter-school art competition with bespoke virtual gallery technology. It’s based on 9 years’ experience leading dot-art Schools – our forerunner programme – in the North West. Research conducted by Liverpool Hope University and Curious Minds has proven the impact of our programmes to nurture talent, raise ambition and develop confidence. 

We are proudly partnering with the following cultural venues across England. As well as lending their expertise in arts education, each will host a celebration event every June: 

  • Greater London: Camden Art Centre, London
  • South West: Arnolfini, Bristol  
  • South East: Modern Art Oxford  
  • East of England, Wysing Arts Centre, Cambridgeshire 
  • North West: The Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester  
  • North East: Baltic, Gateshead  
  • Yorkshire and Humber: Leeds Art Gallery  
  • East Midlands: Derby QUAD 
  • West Midlands, The New Art Gallery Walsall 

We are also honoured to have representatives from the National Society for Education in Art & Design (NSEAD), The Big Draw and Access Art on the judging panel.

“There is now less time for creative subjects in the curriculum, and so programmes like this are crucial in showcasing that schools can make time for the visual arts and can allow creativity, imagination, individuality and innovation to shine through.”  

Susan M Coles, past president of NSEAD, secretariat to the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Art, Craft and Design Education and an Associate of The Big Draw.

Schools that participate in Art Bytes will be able to not only raise the profile of art and design in their own school, but also to students’ families and the wider community. The accessibility of the format allows children and young people to see art galleries as places “for them”, building their confidence and developing cultural capital. 

With Artsmark celebrating 20 years, Art Bytes is particularly proud to be an Artsmark Partner. Art Bytes provides an authentic opportunity to showcase student art beyond the school walls. Striving for excellence by, with and for students is vital and this is a wonderful way to provide them with a sense of accomplishment and reward for their creativity, as well as give them a voice to talk enthusiastically about art. 

At Art Bytes we believe that a recovery curriculum should emphasis pupil well-being and social and emotional development. When children feel confident, they will more-likely be able to catch up successfully. We know that creativity can play a key role in helping children and young people process and express their emotions. Furthermore with the creative industries proven to be the fastest growing sector in the UK, and 87% of highly creative roles being resistant to automation, the skills developed in creative subjects play an essential role in the careers of the future. Studying art and creative subjects can help develop the future-proof skills required to bridge the disadvantage gap.   

To help nurture these skills and inspire the next generation of creative professionals, we have built a Virtual Curator tool for young people to have a go at curating their own online exhibition! Design your exhibition here: https://artbytes.co.uk/virtual-curator/ then share your creations on social media! 

Art Bytes is open to all Primary, Secondary and SEND schools in England. Schools can find out more and register via https://artbytes.co.uk/ until the end of December 2021. 

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