Congratulations to the Youth Art Contest Winners! | Organization for Autism Research

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Thank you to all of the entrants into the inaugural Youth Art Contest! We received many amazing entries in each category and age group from 33 artists in 15 states and three countries. Every entry demonstrated the theme of “friendship” in a unique and inspiring way. What an impressive turnout for our inaugural year!

We are especially grateful to our guest judges, as they could not have had an easy time in selecting winners from such an inspiring and amazing group of entries. OAR’s guest judges in this year’s art contest included:

  • Audrey Flack an American artist and autism mom. She is an internationally acclaimed painter, sculptor, a pioneer of photorealism, and mother to an autistic daughter. Her photorealistic paintings were the first such paintings to be purchased for the Museum of Modern Art’s permanent collection.
  • Edward Cusick is an American artist and retired financial advisor from Merrill Lynch. His hobbies include boating in the summer and creating art for his gallery, Islands Art, on Bailey Island, Maine. He specializes in pet portraits and pictures of houses, seascapes, and nature art.
  • Megan Robinson is the art director and head of interior and experience design at ONEHOPE Winery. Her work focuses on integrating impact into spaces, from highlighting artists dedicated to serving a greater purpose, to causes that ONEHOPE supports, by inspiring and immersing guests into the art of giving back.
  • La’Mical Perine is a New York Jets running back who has an autistic brother. On February 24, he announced his partnership with OAR as a celebrity ambassador.

Once again, we thank each of these judges for taking the time to select this year’s winners.

And now for the moment we have all been waiting for: these are the winners of OAR’s inaugural Youth Art Contest:


Autistic Youth Category
  • 8 years old and under: “Nature Friends” by Will Dandeneau
  • Ages 9 to 13: “Friends Help Each Other” by Achille Mezil
  • 14 years old and older: “We Are All Unique as Stars” by Aidan Loredo


Siblings, Relatives, and Friends of Autistic Individuals Category
  • 8 years old and under: “Peacock Pals” by Sage L.
  • Ages 9 to 13: “A String of Friendship” by Melody Miller
  • 14 years old and older: “Two Ideas in One” by Brooke Trudeau


Grand Prize Winner
  • “Me and My Best Friend, Sterling” by Sean Russell


Take a look at all the winning entries on the Art Contest page. You can also send a donation e-card featuring the artwork of the winners throughout April. Send your suggestions for next year’s theme to . Thank you again to all of this year’s artists, the parents, siblings, and friends who encouraged them, and again the judges. We cannot wait for next year’s art contest!

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