15 Years at a Glance

As we celebrate dot-art’s 15th Birthday, we’d like to take a quick glance back over the years and share our growing achievements which couldn’t have happened without our talented artist members, schools, partners, venues and clients.

Scroll down for ways you can get involved and celebrate our birthday with us! Find details of our exciting competition and more.

15 Years dot-art Infographic

Founded by Lucy Byrne in Liverpool 2006, dot-art’s mission to support visual artists and champion art as an integral part of everyday life began. Over the past 15 years, dot-art has become a key organisation within Merseyside’s arts and culture sector, supporting local artists, working with businesses to put art in the workplace and public realm, running art classes, selling locally sourced, affordable art, and working with schools and community groups in the city region.

Since 2006 we have occupied three gallery spaces, starting at Oriel Close, Water Street, moving to a larger gallery at 2-4 Queen Avenue, Castle Street in 2007 and settling in the dot-art Gallery at 14 Queen Avenue in 2016. We have hosted over 50 exhibitions of local artists work across our galleries, partner venues and other external locations, and we have rented more than 700 works of art to local businesses, which we like to think of as exhibitions too!

In 2010, we formalised our mission to support local artists by setting up a social enterprise arm and have supported over 500 artists through our unique membership scheme which gives access to a package of support and advice, creating and developing artists’ careers.

We have employed over 25 artist tutors and completed over 25,000 hours of teaching, with our artist members teaching art classes across a multitude of inspiring local venues including The Reader, Bluecoat, Williamson Tunnels, FACT Liverpool, The Anglican Cathedral, Baltic Creative, Sefton Palm House, Make North Docks, METAL and The Walker Art Gallery.

We have engaged over 8000 schoolchildren and supported over 400 teachers, working to improve the quality of pupils’ art experiences through dot-art Schools our annual inter-schools art competition in the Liverpool city region. The competitions have culminated in public exhibitions and prize-giving events at LJMU Art and Design School, Chester’s Storyhouse, Walker Art Gallery and St George’s Hall.

This year we announced our exciting new national Art Bytes Programme, based on our successful dot-art Schools project in the North West. Our ambition is to take Art Bytes across England so that all pupils have the opportunity to participate in a programme that is proven to raise pupil’s aspirations and self-esteem, improve creative confidence; and break down barriers to families engaging with cultural spaces.


In May 2012 as part of the inaugural Liverpool Art Month, we launched Liverpool Art Fair, an event which showcases a wide range of affordable original art by a plethora of local artists; providing a unique insight into the region’s creative talent.

We launched at the then brand new Camp and Furnace, which hosted the event again in 2013. In 2014 we moved to The Gallery Liverpool, where the event was held for three years. We were invited to relocate to the Pier Head in 2017 where Liverpool Art Fair grew from a 4 day to a 10-week event. We held very successful events here for two years, in a purpose-built gallery constructed from five shipping containers, selling hundreds of artworks to customers from across the region, the country and the world!

In 2019, we brought Liverpool Art Fair into the heart of the city centre at the Metquarter. This exciting venue enabled us to hold our biggest and longest event yet, running for 80 days. Since the launch of Liverpool Art Fair in 2012, we have shown over 1700 local artists work and welcomed over 50,000 visitors to the event. 

Sadly, Liverpool Art Fair 2020 was cancelled due to coronavirus, we very much hope we will be back again this year.

dot-art has been involved in over 30 public and corporate art projects, over the last 15 years, and one of our favourites has to be The Liverpool Plinth.

In 2017 for the inaugural year of The Liverpool Plinth competition, dot-art partnered with Liverpool BID and Liverpool Parish Church to bring a new and exciting sculpture each year to a plinth which had stood empty for several years at the Grade II listed Liverpool Parish Church, which overlooks the city’s famous Three Graces. A panel of industry experts selected Tony Heaton’s Gold Lamé as the winning artwork which served as a striking and progressive public art piece.

In 2019, Split Decision by Sam Shendi brought a burst of colour to the plinth, while exploring issues around mental health and in 2020 Gail Dooley’s Tidal Shame was the third piece to take up a year-long residence outside Liverpool Parish Church.

Tidal Shame highlights the dangerous impact of sea plastic on maritime life, this along with the previous two sculptures has set the bar high for the fourth year of the competition which is once again open for submissions.

The Liverpool Plinth - Sam Shendi and Split Decision

dot-art is recognised for its fantastic impact on the creative community having won 8 regional and national awards. We have been shortlisted as finalists in the Liverpool City Region Culture and Creativity Awards 2020, with dot-art shortlisted for the Impact Award – Sustainable Business in Arts and dot-art Schools shortlisted for the Impact Award – Improving Education & Learning! The winners will be announced at a digital ceremony on Friday 19th February 2021.

We are incredibly proud of everything dot-art has achieved, and we hope the years to come will be even more successful, with resolutions to work with more artists, put more artwork in the public realm, work with more fantastic businesses and get more students interacting with art! As we enter another very difficult year, we believe that keeping people connected through art and creativity is incredibly important, now more than ever.

Throughout the COVID-19 Pandemic, we have introduced new ways of working to continue our support for local artists and to keep the world inspired. We believe that you can always find solace and inspiration in art and we will continue to adapt as the world continues to change around us.

To celebrate our 15th Birthday we are launching two new projects, dot-art’s 15th Birthday Print Competition and the #dotart15 TikTok challenge! 

To commemorate turning 15 we are launching an open call for creatives in the Liverpool City Region to design a print illustrating what makes our region a landmark for creativity and culture! We will select 15 finalists to be showcased in our upcoming virtual exhibition dot-art 15, all finalists will win tickets to an online creative course of their choice and the top three finalists will win a year’s free dot-art membership and a cash prize.

The winning design will be made into a Limited Edition Print which will be sold at dot-art Gallery and through our website!

Find out more and enter.

As we can’t celebrate our birthday as planned, we have decided to honour our dot-art members and share their talent with the world… We are connecting our members to creatives across the globe and bringing some inspiration and creative discourse to TikTok users through the #dotart15 TikTok challenge.

We have chosen 15 dot-art members including Tommy Graham, Julia Penlington, Hilary Dron, John Petch and Chris Routledge to create a series of TikTok videos sharing secrets about their practice, their works in progress, their favourite artworks and more!

We will be encouraging the world to join in and share their videos with the hashtag #dotart15. We hope the challenge will unite people across the world through art and creativity, during these difficult and lonely times.

Here’s to another 15 years!