Art Bytes is a national EdTech programme that utilises a bespoke, immersive, virtual gallery incorporating augmented reality elements, to give young participants the opportunity to see their art exhibited online and engage with new technology from the safety and convenience of their own home or school. It builds confidence and nurtures talent, allows children and young people to see galleries as places “for them” and encourages future cultural engagement.
After a shortlisting panel and an online public vote, the winning artist from each school sees their work displayed in our virtual gallery. Art Bytes culminates every June with a celebration event at a high-profile cultural venue in each of the nine regions of England, which is also available to schools to stream in the classroom or assembly. Regional winners are announced, certificates and prizes are presented, and the virtual gallery goes live.
The competition is open to all primary (year 5), secondary (year 9) and SEN schools across England (year 12 coming soon!)
“Schools and education are in some disarray and it’s not your fault! 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.
Art is the perfect way for students to process their thoughts and feelings when trying to make sense of the pandemic. Participating in Art Bytes provides a key part of that recovery process.
The positive impact of our forerunner programme, dot-art Schools, on students’ mental health and well-being has been proven. Research carried out by Liverpool Hope University and Curious Minds showed that taking part in dot-art Schools nurtures children and young peoples’ creativity and boosts their confidence. We learnt that the students gain a measurable sense of self-respect from the process.
Participating in the competition can also raise students’ aspirations and engage student’s families. We know that the pandemic has increased the disadvantage gap markedly; engaging with dot-art Schools helps build valuable cultural capital in students.
“It’s a nice way to celebrate our pupils work and for them to receive acknowledgement for the work they’ve done. I think the awards ceremony is fantastic for boosting their self-esteem getting them out of their comfort zone to go.”
SEN teacher from participating school
“Well done Tayla from her proud mum. Thank you so much to Gateacre School and dot-art for giving her the platform to express herself.”
Lisa Mairs, Parent
“Cultural education programmes are so important in nurturing new artists that will become the next generation of artists that builds and progresses the country’s creative industries. This competition is a fantastic platform for young people to showcase their work.”
Victoria Merriman, Arts Council England
We are delighted to be working with a high profile cultural venue in each of the nine regions of England to deliver Art Bytes. As well as lending their expertise in arts education, each will host a prizegiving event every June.