Welsh teenager with autism wins international art competition|
CARDIFF, Wales: A teenager with autism is celebrating after he beat off competition from students from as far afield as Croatia and India to win an international art competition. Sam Fitzgerald, 18, who attends St Cenydd School, Caerphilly, was declared winner in the digital category of the competition held by Beechwood College, Sully.The competition – Create! Art for Autism – is organised to showcase the creativity of young people aged 11-25 with autistic spectrum condition (ASC).
More than 350 entries were made from 52 different schools from all over the UK, Europe and India. Awards were presented in categories including 2D and 3D Art and Digital.
Sam won the digital category with his entry, Angel, described by the judges as having a "haunting and metaphysical quality."
Sam's mum, Lynsey, said: "It is fantastic and inspirational to see that Sam's skills have been recognised and that unnecessary barriers have been removed to enable his photography to be celebrated in public for all to see and enjoy."
Sam was given a certificate and Flip video camera and prizes to benefit his school, including two more Flip video cameras and Stop Motion Pro Action Software.
The judging panel included Hugh Morgan OBE, chief executive of Autism Cymru; double winner of the National Eisteddfod Gold Medal in Fine Art and lecturer at The University of Glamorgan; Brendan Stuart-Burns; Lucinda Bredin, editor at Bonhams Magazine, and Darren Jackson, principal of Beechwood College.
Mr Stuart-Burns said: "This is not an art competition about autism. The art that has been created throughout this project is pure and rich in energy and emotion and full of the passion of those we teach. It is so pleasing for me to see that in art all things are equal."
All the finalists' work is now on display at The Old Library, Cardiff, until next Sunday, before being moved to London early in the autumn.
(Source: South Wales Echo, August 1, 2011)