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2013 3D winner Bullet Chess Pieces by Michael Gregory.2013 3D winner Bullet Chess Pieces by Michael Gregory.The annual CREATE! Art for Autism competition is now open for entries.

The national art competition, now in its fourth year, aims to inspire young people with an autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) whilst celebrating their creativity and educating the wider public about autism.

“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”, says Darren Jackson of Beechwood College, which sponsors CREATE!

The competition is open to eleven- to 25-year-olds throughout the UK across five categories: 2D art, 3D art, digital photography, digital animation and poetry.

Last year’s competition attracted more than 800 submissions, and 2014 has already seen a rise in entries during its early stages.  
Jane Asher – President of the National Autistic Society, actress and author – is a long-standing supporter of the competition. “It is truly inspirational to see how much creativity oozes out of the autistic young people; enabling them to express themselves through art makes this competition such a worthwhile project”, she says.

Alun Cairns MP has also been involved with CREATE! Art for Autism since its early days. “People with an Autistic Spectrum Condition deserve the highest quality care possible and I feel very strongly that more needs to be done to raise awareness for this cause.”

The competition closes on 11 June 2014. Judges from the world of the arts, the media, and academia will choose finalists for each category and the winners and creators of commended pieces of artwork will be announced at an awards ceremony on 18 July.

Entry forms and information are available from: www.createartforautism.com

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