Manchester Art Gallery to host World Autism Awareness Week exhibition
A school which serves Manchester’s autistic community and their families has joined forces with Manchester Art Gallery to launch an art competition culminating in an exclusive exhibition to mark World Autism Awareness Week (27 March – 2 April).
The competition was organised by Gorton-based Grange School, and received more than 100 entries from pupils, parents and school staff across Manchester living with autism. Judges are selecting 12 winners who will have their work exhibited in the prestigious gallery.
The selected artworks will be on public display during World Autism Awareness Week (Wednesday 29 March – Sunday 1 April) at Manchester Art Gallery on Mosley Street, with the aim of raising awareness and understanding and changing perceptions of autism in Manchester.
Grange School exists to provide the autism community of Manchester and beyond with an outstanding education service. The school will be celebrating throughout the week by inviting parents into the school and setting up a stall in Inspire Café, Levenshulme, selling cakes, gifts and cards created by the school’s pupils.
Joanne Thomas, acting head teacher at Grange School said: “We can’t think of a more fitting way to mark World Autism Awareness Week and we’re really looking forward to seeing our pupils’ work on the walls of Manchester Art Gallery.
“At Grange School we’re constantly striving to challenge preconceived ideas and build opportunities for autistic people. This competition is a great opportunity to take this attitude out into the public and show how our pupils are achieving their potential.”
Manchester Art Gallery offers a series of creative, sensory activities especially aimed at children with autism called ‘Open Doors’. It opens its doors early, allowing families and carers to explore the gallery and artworks with their children in a relaxed and comfortable space. These sessions are free to drop in and there is a designated Quiet Room in the gallery, a space away from everything to feel safe and calm.
Ronan Brindley, Head of Learning at Manchester Art Gallery, said: "We are eager to work in partnership with Grange School to develop the gallery’s connections with autistic children and their families.
“Our ‘Open Doors' sessions are proving to be popular and are helping us lead the way as an autism-friendly gallery. At a recent session, one mother told us that she'd 'never seen her child so happy'. We'd like to see this feeling extended so that every autistic child in Manchester feels that the gallery is for them."
For more information about Grange School please visit
For dates and times of Manchester Art Gallery’s Open Doors initiative visit: