The winners of annual art competition Create! Art For Autism have been announced at the event’s largest-ever awards ceremony at Beechwood College near Cardiff.
The People’s Choice category alone received more than 5,000 votes and this year’s competition received more than 1,000 entries in total, from young people aged between 11 and 25 with an autistic spectrum condition (ASC). With such a range of entries there were 2 highly commended and one winner in each of the 5 categories: 2D, 3D, digital photography, digital animation and poetry.
The winners were: Poetry: Lewis Murray; Oliver Tatum and Jonathan Andrews highly commended 2D: Angus Lacey (pictured); Daniel Cooper and Solomon Taiwo highly commended 3D: Nathan Jones; Jay Rogers and Cameron Carr highly commended Digital photography: Michael Willcox; Alfie Armstrong and Michael Hallett highly commended Digital animation: Danny Williams; Bridget Kay and Ian Bruin highly commended. People’s choice award: Jonathan Andrews with his poem ‘Creativity’.
The awards day saw more than 150 guests attend with Create! judge and singer/songwriter Aaron Yorke entertaining guests with an acoustic performance of the theme song he wrote for the awards. All the finalists’ artworks were on display at the event.
After helping make the decision on the awards, judge Darren Jackson, director of education at Beechwood College, said: “This campaign seeks to challenge the conventional barriers as to what is traditionally considered to be ‘art’, and instead raises the profile of the creative talents of those who through their autism are able to remain authentic in their thinking and vibrant in their responses.”
Jackson and Yorke were joined on the judging panel by president of the National Autistic Society Jane Asher; lecturer at the University of South Wales Neil Burridge; art examiner for WJEC Steve Knapik; arts editor of Bonhams Magazine Lucinda Bredin; Anna Kennedy OBE; and Michael Shaw of the Times Educational Supplement.
The winners of each category were awarded a Kindle Fire HD and their school or organisation received a Create! artbox full of supplies to encourage more students creativity and participation in art-orientated activities.