Cliffannie Forrester has done at 18 what most artists can only dream of — and she couldn’t be more excited.
Forrester, a senior at the High School of Art and Design in Manhattan, was one of 90 winners of the annual P.S. Art competition, which is open to New York City students from pre-K to 12th grade. Her submission, an oil painting titled “Uganda,” will be on display in the Metropolitan Museum of Art as part of a student exhibition through Oct. 23.
Last week, Forrester, of Brooklyn, tweeted a photo of her work hanging in the museum with the caption: “Who just completed their life goal at age 18? Me.”
Her excitement has been contagious. Her tweet was retweeted 39,000 times and liked 85,000 times. Websites such as Time, Huffington Post and Elle have picked up her story.
Forrester was inspired to paint the work after she took a missionary trip to Uganda, she wrote in the P.S. Art 2016 catalog.
“We were going to church and I saw a little girl who was just standing around, admiring everything,” Forrester told Elle, adding that she snapped a picture of the girl on her phone.
It took the teen about a month to complete the detailed portrait of the young African girl in a white dress.
“Cliffannie wanted her subject to touch viewers, and make them consider that black lives matter and that little girls matter, in any part of the world. Cliffannie’s powerful message was captured in this compelling composition and because of it, we are all transformed,” her art teacher Maria Jimenez wrote in the P.S. Art catalog.
Forrester’s painting was also chosen as one of 23 student submissions to be featured in Times Square on digital screens for three minutes every hour from Wednesday through Sunday.
But Forrester says she still has more to offer, tweeting: “People think I’m stopping here I achieved my ultimate goal…I’m getting another piece in the MET one day (and) nothing will stop me.”