clffannie forresterUganda
Cliffannie Forrester, artist

Cliffannie Forrester, a senior at the High School of Art and Design in Manhattan, was one of 90 winners of P.S. Art 2016: Celebrating the Creative Spirit of New York City Kids competition, which is open to New York City students from pre-K to 12th grade. Her above submission, an oil painting titled “Uganda,” will be on display through Oct. 23 in the Metropolitan Museum of Art as part of the exhibition.

She explains the background story of the artwork to Elle:

“In 2014, I went on a trip to Uganda with my church as part of a missionary trip to help people in need over there,” she told “We were going to church and I saw a little girl who was just standing around, admiring everything.” Forrester took a quick snap on her phone, which she showed to her art teacher back in New York, who told the student she should create a painting based on the photograph.

Uganda took about a month to complete, and the detailed portrait is an example of the kind of work Forrester likes to do; she likes to “capture an emotion” in her paintings. “She made me feel like I was at ease, or at home,” explained the teenager about her subject…

“I do want to be an artist,” she told us. Not just because she wants to share her gift with the world—which she does—but also for herself. “Art is important to me because it’s my escape,” she said, “Whenever I feel down, I try to draw, to ease my mind.”

Here’s my wish that she, and all the other students who competed, continue their good work…

forrester photo