Figures & Figcaptions

Essex Schools Showcase for The Arts which runs in July each year


Set within the City centre of Chelmsford, principally in High Chelmer shopping centre, Civic Theatre, Market Square and The Exchange, Showcase allows a free and uniquely accessible opportunity to experience the high quality visual and performing arts from our talented Essex school students. Whilst in central Chelmsford for shopping, business or just lunch, come along and be surprised and impressed.


The Showcase gives the opportunity for students’ work to be put before the public, usually for the first time. Students are also encouraged to attend to host the displays and gain from interacting with the viewing public and experiencing students' work from other schools. The general public gets the opportunity to experience the high quality artwork from Essex students which is normally only displayed at school. There is no fixed format and teachers/students are encouraged to develop ideas for inclusion.


The first six years have included painting, drawing, collage, sculpture, textiles, upholstery, woodwork, photography, design, installation, street theatre, dance, big bands, rock bands, ukulele bands, drama, choirs, fine art workshops and demonstrations, live artwork creation, temporary sculpture, video and puppetry.


The event is unfunded, supported entirely by generous sponsorship from local organisations in Chelmsford and by voluntarily donated time. The extra effort contributed by staff at the contributing schools at a very busy time of year is greatly appreciated.


Student Work Experience

Arts students gain work experience in curation, exhibition and invigilation in a gallery context, but Showcase also can provide invaluable experience to students of Business Studies (project management, event planning), and Media (publicity, including local radio experience, planning printed publicity, etc.). Skills developed include teamwork, interpersonal interaction with the public, initiative and flexibility.


If you are associated with an Essex senior school, please consider giving your visual and performing arts students the opportunity to show their work in public in central Chelmsford next July and, possibly, see if any Year 12s would like to get involved with the organising work experience of The Essex Schools Showcase for The Arts 2018.


The event dates for next year, subject to our generous sponsors' continued support (JULY 11th - 18th 2018) are set to run into the last week of the academic year to ensure plenty of content to show. The event is open to the public on weekdays between 10:00am and 2:00pm, i.e. within school time.


Please do get in touch to develop ideas and/or for further information. email Max Dolding


Our Generous Sponsors for 2017:

High Chelmer; James Hallam Insurance Brokers; Ideas Hub; Gepp & Sons Solicitors; Chelmsford City Council; Chelmsford City Theatres; BBC Essex.




2017 - The Sixth Year of Showcase


We opened to the public on Wednesday 12th July with a superb exhibition of visual art from students across the County. Visual art was displayed on special gallery boards in the East and West Malls and Central Square of High Chelmer, a pop up gallery in Exchange Way and in the Ideas Hub gallery, as well as some sculptural works at the Civic Theatre Foyer. Performance was from Bishops Stortford High School, Hylands School, Chelmsford, New Rickstones Academy, Witham, and Greensward Academy, Hockley.


At left is reproduced the student artwork featured on the flyer, poster and banners seen here in High Chelmer for this year’s Showcase, by Luke Becalick of The Billericay School - the original was displayed in the pop up gallery. The 2017 Showcase saw fourteen schools represented and ten senior students on work experience helping to organise and host the event.


Special project for 2017


For the first time there was a spectacular suspended work up high in the High Chelmer Central Square atrium where student James Gilmour from Plume Community Academy Maldon created a modern take on traditional Chinese landscape painting on a massive scale. The central work was complemented by four suspended canvas banners, two by James and one each from students of Hylands School Chelmsford and New Rickstones Academy Witham.

We are grateful for additional generous support (foam board art supplies) from Emball'iso-M2 Ltd/Airplac. James Gilmour kindly sponsored with paint by Brandler Galleries.



(See GALLERY 2012-2017 for photos and short videos from previous years.)


The Essex Schools Showcase for The Arts is part of the Essex Summer of Art