Create! Art For Autism 2014 was launched on Wednesday 2nd of April and has continued to be a great success, with over 1,000 entries coming in!
Create! Art for Autism 2014 was open to all young people aged 11-25 years who are formally diagnosed with an Autistic Spectrum Condition (ASC) including Asperger's Syndrome. The competition continues to aim to dispel the myth that people with autism cannot be creative and to show that art can significantly improve their quality of life, facilitating experiential-based learning and instilling life-long skills. As Darren Jackson, Director of Education at Beechwood College has 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 subsequent responses.”
Young people with an ASC from around the UK were invited to enter the FIVE main categories: 2D Art, 3D Art, Digital Photography, Digital Animation and Poetry.
All finalists were invited to attend the Awards Ceremony at Beechwood College. And on Friday the 18th of July 150 guests gathered to celebrate their creativity. One of Create’s judges singer/songwriter Aaron Yorke entertained the audience by playing a set, that included the first live performance of the Create! theme song that Aaron has written for the competition. In its fourth great year Create! continued to attract high profile judges, who attended the ceremony and announced this year’s winners. Aaron’s fellow judges this year were actress and author, Jane Asher, who is also President of the National Autistic Society; artists and lecturer at the University of South Wales Neil Burridge; Darren Jackson, Director of Education at Beechwood College’ educationalist and art examiner for the Welsh Joint Education Committee Steve Knapik MBE; arts editor of Bonhams Magazine Lucinda Bredin; Anna Kennedy, OBE, founder of ‘Autism’s Got Talent’; and Michael Shaw of the Times Educational Supplement, which also supported the People’s Choice Award category; and Alun Cairns MP for the Vale of Glamorgan, who sadly couldn’t make the Awards Ceremony.
The overall winner of each category won a Kindle Fire HD, and a Create! Artbox for their school or organisation, full of art materials, Stop Motion Pro software tool, and a guide to digital photography. All highly commended pieces and the winner of the People’s Choice Award were awarded a £50 Amazon voucher. And all entrants received a Certificate of Creativity.