Autumn de Forest and Dr. Louis Zona, Executive Director and Chief Curator for the Butler Institute of American Art, take in her paintings currently on display at the museum
STONE HARBOR – The abstract artwork of 14-year-old Autumn de Forest has been compared to Master artists such as Andy Warhol, Jackson Pollock, and Pablo Picasso. Even more impressive and just as extraordinary as her art, is this young artist’s sincere compassion to help others through her craft. Ocean Galleries (9618 Third Avenue, Stone Harbor/609.368.7777) is delighted to welcome back the talented Autumn de Forest for a remarkable August exhibition that will include a diverse collection of her newest artwork. Additionally, Autumn’s time at the shore will allow the compassionate youth to once again support an important local organization, the Helen L. Diller Vacation Home for Blind Children.
“Autumn de Forest – The Journey Continues” opens at Ocean Galleries on Friday, August 5 and runs through Sunday, August 7, 2016 from 10:00 AM to 10:00 PM daily, with all artwork available for acquisition. Guests can meet Autumn de Forest from 6:00 PM until 10:00 PM on Friday, August 5, 6:00 PM until 10:00 PM on Saturday, August 6, and 1:00 PM until 4:00 PM on Sunday, August 7. At the beginning of each reception, Autumn will provide a curatorial presentation to share insight into her journey and philosophy as an artist. Her presentation will include an overview of the entire collection, as well as unique details and background stories for individual pieces.
Autumn de Forest began painting at age five and has been a professional painter for more than half of her young life. The young artist’s pieces grace collections worldwide, and, this summer, Autumn made history as the youngest painter ever to have a solo museum exhibition when her works were displayed at the Butler Institute of American Art (Youngstown, OH). Founded in 1919 by Joseph G. Butler, Jr., the Butler Institute is the first museum of American art.
Autumn has an inherent passion for painting – something she feels compelled to do both for herself and to help others. Autumn has used her artwork to support numerous charitable causes, such as Red Cross, Habitat for Humanity, This Bar Saves Lives, as well as the Helen L. Diller Vacation Home for Blind Children in nearby Avalon, NJ. She also encourages art education and has been a participating artist in Turnaround Arts, a signature program for the Presidents’ Committee on the Arts and Humanities. In November 2015, Autumn was recognized internationally for using her talent to help others when the Vatican invited the young artist to Rome where she was honored with the Premio Giuseppe Sciacca Award for Arts and Culture. Established in 2001 by the International Association of Culture and Voluntary Work ‘Uomo e Società’ [‘Man and Society’], the award recognizes individuals under 35-years-old from across the globe who show talent in the fields of knowledge and art, are role models in their communities, and are moral and educational examples in society’s development.
The prestigious award was presented to Autumn at an ancient auditorium protected by the Swiss Guard in the inner sanctum of the Vatican during the ceremony in Rome. “The Giuseppe Sciacca Award is a life-changing honor for me. I have always felt it was important to help others, but I never imagined I would be noticed for that – I thought it was the right thing to do,” Autumn said.
In conjunction with her visit to Rome and as an expression of her gratitude for receiving such an honor, Autumn was inspired to create her “Vatican Collection,” artwork featuring religious iconography that she presented during the awards ceremony. The Italian public was able to glimpse the collection when it was briefly on display at the Gallery Coronari in Rome. After the award presentation, Autumn received the ultimate honor of a private audience with Pope Francis, where she presented artwork she had painted for him.
Select pieces from the “Vatican Collection” will be on display and available for acquisition during Autumn’s August 5-7 exhibition at Ocean Galleries. In addition, the talented artist has created many new pieces of art, specifically for the Stone Harbor showing. Her new collection will include nearly 75 pieces.
“We are very excited to present Autumn’s newest paintings, which will contain some shore-themed works as well as many other imaginative paintings,” said gallery owner, Kim Miller. “Our guests will enjoy hearing Autumn explain her inspirations and thought process in creating her artwork. At 14, her poise and maturity are unbelievable, and, in spite of amazing success at such a young age, she is extremely grounded and grateful. Autumn is compassionate about spreading the message of arts in education and sharing the joy she finds in painting with other children.”
With her August exhibit at Ocean Galleries, Autumn de Forest will once again be supporting the Helen L. Diller Vacation Home for Blind Children in Avalon, NJ. The artist explains, “I visited the Diller Home the last time I held an exhibition at Ocean Galleries and really enjoyed spending some time with the kids at the camp. I’m excited to talk with this year’s campers about art and help them explore their own creativity with a two-dimensional artwork piece that we will work on together.” The piece that Autumn creates with the children will be part of the silent auction at the organization’s fall fundraiser, Barefoot Ball, taking place on September 10, 2016 at the Windrift Hotel. Autumn de Forest is also donating a painting for the auction, which will be custom framed by Ocean Galleries.
The vacation experience at the Diller Home is provided at no charge to families. A stay at the Home is a first-time vacation to the shore for many of the children. The camp operates for eight weeks during the summer months, from mid-June to mid-August, with approximately 20 children (ages 7 to 15) attending weekly. In the past five years, over 500 children have spent a week at the beach compliments of The Diller Home, some of them feeling the sand for the first time. Over $750,000 in financial aid has been provided to the families of campers who attend the camp at no cost. For more information on the Helen L. Diller Vacation Home for Blind Children, call 609-927-7839 or visit www.dillerblindhome.org/
The “Autumn de Forest – The Journey Continues” exhibition opens at Ocean Galleries on Friday, August 5 and runs through Sunday, August 7, 2016 from 10:00 AM to 10:00 PM daily, with all artwork available for acquisition. Guests will have the opportunity to meet Autumn de Forest at special gallery receptions from 6:00 PM until 10:00 PM on Friday, August 5 and Saturday, August 6, and from 1:00 PM until 4:00 PM on Sunday, August 7. Curatorial presentations by Autumn will begin promptly at the opening of each reception.
In addition to an extraordinary collection of artwork and custom-framing, Ocean Galleries also offers a variety of hand-made crafts from local, regional, and national artists in America, such as glass, pottery, jewelry, and furniture. All summer exhibitions take place at the Stone Harbor location of Ocean Galleries (9618 Third Avenue), which is open daily from 10:00 AM until 10:00 PM. The Avalon, NJ location of Ocean Galleries (2199 Ocean Drive) is open Monday through Saturday from 9:00 AM until 5:00 PM and on Sunday by appointment. For more information or directions, call 609-368-7777 or visit http://www.oceangalleries.com/