The 2nd Spectrum Art Award is launched

March 5th, 2019

We are delighted to announce that the 2nd Spectrum Art Award is open for submissions from Tuesday, 5th March – 31st May 2019. Rather than an overall ‘winner’, the award will recognise the achievements of 5 selected finalists equally – each winning a cash award of £5,000, together with a bespoke package of support and mentoring and an opportunity to show their work publicly in a dedicated exhibition in the spring of 2020 (TBA).

Established in 2017, the Spectrum Art Award is a unique, critically acclaimed national competition, created to celebrate the creative excellence of artists on the autistic spectrum – providing a vital bridge between the art world and artists with autism. It is open to all UK adults on the autistic spectrum (aged 18 and above) and for work in any medium; from animation to sculpture – as well as the myriad of art forms in between. Submission is free and can be found via the charity website: www.thespectrumartaward.com.

Lead again by Chief Curator, Sacha Craddock, selection will be by an expert panel including the celebrated artists, Paul Noble and Chantal Joffe, as well as specialists in the field of autism, Spectrum CEO, Mary Simpson and Professor Simon Baron-Cohen. The panel is completed by the 2017, Spectrum finalist, Dawnne McGeachy. Judging will commence during the summer of 2019 – including an opportunity to meet with all the shortlisted artists – and will conclude in the Winter of 2019. An announcement of the 5 selected finalists will be made in January 2020.

Living with autism creates challenges but also a unique perspective on the world. The Award recognises this; providing a public platform for creative individuals on the spectrum to articulate and define their life experiences – and an opportunity for them to reach their full potential. An essential aspect of our approach is the continued support and expert, tailored mentoring offered to all our finalists which has helped them to succeed in their individual ambitions and goals.

For 2018 Spectrum Award Winner, Charlotte Amelia Poe, this also meant a new perspective on what it is to be an autistic artist; “the Spectrum Art Prize made me realise how important it is to be an autistic artist. It also helped me to understand that there are people out there who genuinely want to celebrate autistic people and what we are capable of. It feels so vitally important and I feel humbled to have been a part of it.”

The first Spectrum Art Award achieved more than we could have hoped for. Culminating with a critically acclaimed exhibtion in 2018 at the prestigious Saatchi Gallery, London, it generated coverage including T.V, national press and specialist art journals, reaching a global audience in excess of 374 million. Mary Simpson, CEO of Spectrum states:

“I believe that art can create a powerful and meaningful dialogue to those who feel socially isolated, lonely or different from those around them. The Spectrum Art Award is an opportunity for artists with autism to share their unique world view, as well their hopes and perceptions of life”

The Spectrum Art Award is a new and vital platform, making it possible for the incredible work of artists with autism to be brought into public view. Lead Judge and Curator, Sacha Craddock states, ‘Our ambition for The Spectrum Award 2019 is to discover and recognise the fantastic work done across the UK by so many creative individuals. We are thrilled that the Award will, once again, reflect the creativity, diversity and excellence of artists with autism.’