On June 14, Cliffannie Forrester had one of her paintings hung up at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Eight days later, she is graduating from high school.
Forrester’s painting “Uganda” was selected as a part of P.S. Art 2016, an annual exhibition of artwork made by students in New York City’s public school system.
The 18-year-old’s painting was one of 90 picks from more than 1,200 submissions. When it was hung up at a gallery in the Met, Forrester posted a picture on Twitter. It quickly went viral.
In her caption accompanying the painting online, Forrester thanked her teacher for her guidance and said the painting was inspired by a trip she took two summer ago to Uganda with her church:
“This piece was inspired by a missionary trip I took last summer. When I was creating Uganda I struggled to re-create the colour scheme and contrasts from my references. I fused the background with the foreground in cool tones so that references I used appear seamless in the painting.”
“We were going to church and I saw a little girl who was just standing around, admiring everything,” she told Elle. Forrester took a picture and used it as the basis for her painting.
After she graduates high school, Forrester wants to pursue a career as a painter. “Art is important to me because it’s my escape,” she told Elle. “Whenever I feel down, I try to draw, to ease my mind.”
But for now, she’s posting fun pictures of her friends visiting her painting on Instagram:
The exhibit is on display at the Met through October 23.
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