Sydney teenager wins 2017 For Art’s Sake Collaborate Art Prize

By Christopher Lo

19 year old Autistic, Anthony Lo has taken the First prize award at this year’s inaugural For Art’s Sake exhibition held by Participate Australia at the Design Centre Enmore, Sydney on Wednesday 28th June. 

For Art’s Sake showcases the creative expression of emerging artists living with disability. Participate Australia encourages their service users to collaborate with practicing artists in the creation of original artworks through one-on-one collaborations and workshops, and to enter these pieces in the Collaborate Art Prize.

Anthony worked with local artist Ro Cook to create “Doughnuts, Donuts”, which was judged by a critically acclaimed panel of artists including Archibald Prize winner Wendy Sharpe, Colin Rhodes, Honorary Professor of Art History and Theory at University of Sydney, David Capra, Sydney based artist whose own work hangs in the National Centre for Creative Learning of the Museum of Contemporary Art and Tamara Armstrong, 2016 Portia Geach Memorial Award winner. 

The Master of Ceremonies for the evening was ABC radio’s James Valentine, who announced Anthony as the winner and said that the judges awarded him this prize based on his artistic merit and because it was “a bold celebratory work-full of joy and exuberance.”

Anthony was surprised and delighted as was his collaborator Ro Cook:

“I love working with Anthony. This is my third year now. He always has a clear vision and knows exactly what he wants to do. He is both bold and fearless.”

Anthony has been drawing and painting constantly since he was little. He has always enjoyed anything tactile, all forms of arts and crafts and enjoys creating new works for himself and others to enjoy.

When asking Anthony what his inspiration was for “Doughnuts, Donuts”, he said:

“I love eating donuts and I love their different icing colours. They make me and everybody feel happy.”

At the end of the evening, the piece was sold as part of the charity auction for $480. When asking the buyer what he loved most about the artwork, Michael Redstone said: “It’s just beautiful to look at, it’s geometrically balanced and the colours are vibrant and cheerful”.

Anthony’s share in the prize money will contribute towards further art classes to develop his skills and interests. When asked what might be his inspiration for next year’s competition, he boldly stated: “hotdogs!”


Autism | General