8th June – 24th June 2018 at Storyhouse, Chester
Two talented young artists are celebrating after battling it out with almost 300 pupils from schools across Cheshire to be named the area’s best young artists. Pranathi Tulasi, a Year 9 student from The Catholic High School Chester and Tahlia Buckley a Year 5 student from Acton CE Primary Academy, were crowned the overall winners of the dot-art Schools competition at a special prize-giving ceremony at Storyhouse, Chester on Thursday 7th June 2018.
Pranathi’s winning piece titled Susan Davis Painting 1, a painting inspired by artist Susan Davis’s work resembling a night-time forest with birds: and Tahlia’s dynamic acrylic painting of a volcano and crashing waves, entitled Tahlia’s Great Wave both featured alongside the other shortlisted artworks in the second annual dot-art Schools Cheshire exhibition. This free exhibition at Storyhouse in Chester opened to the public from Friday 8th June to Sunday 24th June.
dot-art Schools is already a well-established fixture in the academic calendar for many Merseyside schools; since its inception over 4700 students from over 270 schools have taken part. This is the sixth year it will take place in the Liverpool City Region and due to its success and a partnership with Liverpool John Moores University, a parallel scheme for Cheshire West & Chester, Cheshire East and Warrington was launched last year.
Entrants are asked to produce a piece of 2D or 3D artwork on any theme. Schools initially submitted up to 25 student pieces of art which were then shortlisted by a judging panel made up of representatives from well-respected arts and cultural institutions including National Museums Liverpool and LJMU Liverpool School of Art & Design, and Storyhouse engagement team who selected their top three entries from each school ready for a public vote. Over 3000 members of the public voted online for their favourite piece of work from each school to win a place in the exhibition.
The overall winners and runners-up for both primary and secondary categories were chosen by guest judge Una Meehan of the Philip Barker Centre for Creative Learning in University of Chester; and announced at a prize-giving ceremony and launch of the exhibition. Each shortlisted student was presented with a certificate by Alexis Redmond MBE, High Sheriff of Cheshire during the ceremony.
As the winner of the Year 9 category Pranathi was also awarded a scholarship to Dot-Art, giving her a year’s membership to dot-art’s network, allowing her to showcase and sell her work alongside professional artists, while Acton CE Primary Academy student Tahlia won the Year 5 category and was presented with prizes donated by Cass Art and afternoon tea for two at the Townhouse Hotel, Chester.
The runners up in the secondary category were Connor P from Green Lane Community Special School for his digital self-portrait; and Lean Eugenio of Neston High School for her detailed watercolour and ink drawing of a young woman. The primary category runners up were Samuel Johnson of Kelsall Primary School for his mixed media landscape and Freddie Morris of Archers Brook SEMH Residential School for his watercolour painting of a wolf. The two runners up in both categories were also presented with prizes including a goody bag of art materials from Cass Art and tickets for theatre productions at Storyhouse.
Dot-art Schools project manager Carolyn Murray commented: “The standard of work was outstanding again this year and it’s thrilling to see we have so many talented young artists in the region. Not many young people get the chance to have their artwork displayed in a public exhibition so everyone who was shortlisted should feel very proud. The exhibition is a fantastic opportunity for the public to check out the best work by some of the region’s rising stars”