The Spectrum Art Award Judging day with a record number of outstanding entries


We are delighted to announce that we have now selected our long list of artists in the first phase of judging the 2nd Spectrum Art Award. Our esteemed panel, including Spectrum CEO, Mary Simpson, curator and Lead Judge, Sacha Craddock and internationally renowned artists, Chantal Joffe and Paul Noble have whittled a record 100 entries from all around the UK, to 8 artists who will now go through to the 2nd phase of judging this summer.


Established in 2017, the Spectrum Art Award is the critically acclaimed national award which aims to recoginise and celebrate the excellence of artists on the artistic spectrum. Selected from open submission, the 2nd Award will be shared equally between 5 shortlisted artists with each receiving a £5,000 cash award, together with a bespoke package of expert support. The work of all 5 shortlisted artists will also be shown at the Spectrum Art Award Exhibition in the spring of 2020 (TBA).


Displaying an incredible range of approaches and  a multitude of mediums, the Spectrum Art Award has again proven  the stunning diversity and creativity of artists who identify as being on the autistic specrum. Chantal Joffe and Paul Noble commented: 'We were both amazed at the level and quality of wrk submitted. The selection was difficult  and a real pleasure at the same time.'


The panel will now carefully consider who should make it through to the final 5; including personal visits to meet the artists this Summer. Sacha Craddock commented, 'The long short list represents a fantastic range of work.  From anecdotal to abstract , obsessive to other worldly, with powerful moving image often accompanied by painting, drawing and print, the Spectrum Art Award is  starting to inhabit an essential artistic place.' 


What was fascinating for all involved was the confidence and artistic vision of the entries; these are artists who really have something to say about their place in the world and are unapologetic about the unique viewpoint and distinctive visual language that being autistic gives them. For individuals who may usually only experience their autism being viewed as a negative to be overcome, the Spectrum Art Award gives us all an opportunity to celebrate the wonderful creativity of the autistic mind.


We will keep you updated on the visits and will reveal our 8 shortlisted artists very soon!