She has been professionally painting since she was five years old, has been called a child prodigy, artistic genius and an outstanding role model, and has garnered accolades across the globe for her artwork and philanthropic passion, including an award from The Vatican. Ocean Galleries is delighted to welcome Autumn de Forest back to Stone Harbor over Labor Day weekend with an all new collection of paintings.
The “Autumn de Forest – The Power of She” exhibit opens on Friday, Aug. 31 and runs through Monday, Sept. 3. Autumn has been painting a new collection of artwork for the exhibit, each with a unique story and inspiration, including many fun-loving sea creature images, a variety of floral-themed art, as well as imagery inspired by her studies of dreams and psychology. Guests will have the opportunity to meet the effervescent 16-year-old at gallery receptions from 6 to 10: p.m. on Friday, Aug. 31, Saturday, Sept. 1 and Sunday, Sept. 2. The exhibition, which is open daily from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., is free, with all artwork on display available for acquisition.
Autumn will be making her fourth appearance at Ocean Galleries, which hosted her first solo exhibition in 2012 at just 10 years old. “It is truly a delight to welcome Autumn back to Stone Harbor,” said gallery owner Kim Miller. “We’ve watched her mature into a lovely young lady and she has repeatedly impressed us with her maturity, poise, and incredible talent.”
The young artist descends from a long lineage of American artists, continuing a legacy that extends over 150 years in a family that includes recognized 20th century American painters: Roy de Forest (1930–2007); Lockwood de Forest (1850–1932), California plein-air painter; and George de Forest Brush (1855–1941). Having achieved tremendous success at such a young age, Autumn’s greatest ability is the power to inspire those around her with her humorous and articulate observations and insights into art, life and creativity.
De Forest’s art education originated with studying the Masters. She cites Andy Warhol, Pablo Picasso, Georgia O’Keeffe, Grant Wood, Henri Matisse, Jackson Pollock, Roy Lichtenstein and Jasper Johns as inspirations. In addition to her artistic predecessors, de Forest finds inspiration in the studies of dreams and psychology.
Autumn de Forest’s career has soared since her debut. She began to explore a variety of styles and themes, sometimes using canvases larger than herself. As a self-taught artist, de Forest has developed multiple techniques in addition to more traditional painting methods. Her innovative “pull painting” method involves dragging paint across a canvas with a wire, while her “wind painting” method makes use of an air compressor and diluted acrylic paint.
A decade-long career, Autumn’s extraordinary path has been distinguished by a myriad of achievements, including being the youngest artist in history to have a solo exhibition at a major American museum, The Butler Institute of American Art, and being honored at the Vatican for her profound influence on Arts and Culture. Autumn de Forest is the youngest artist ever to be appointed to the President’s Committee for The Arts and Humanities, and was personally invited by First Lady Michelle Obama.
Autumn de Forest’s works are now collected around the world and she has been recognized repeatedly for her talent. The Discovery Channel has called her an “artistic genius” and she has been confirmed as a “profound artistic prodigy” by a leading U.S. researcher on child prodigies, Dr. Joanne Ruthsatz, Psychology Professor at The Ohio State University.
Equal to her creative endeavors as a fine artist is Autumn’s commitment to humanitarian causes and giving back. The young artist has made it a mission to contribute her time, talent and artwork to charitable organizations, and feels very passionate about giving back to children that are less fortunate by bringing art and hope into their lives. “Although we were first drawn to Autumn’s amazing artwork, witnessing her commitment to helping others through arts education, especially at such a young age, has truly been inspirational,” explains Miller. De Forest’s efforts have included arts education at various levels. On a broad spectrum, she has supported the American Red Cross, Habitat for Humanity, and relief efforts in Haiti, Japan and the United States. She is also active on a more local level as she travels for her exhibitions, including supporting the Helen L. Diller Vacation Home for Blind Children in Avalon with every visit to southern New Jersey. The young artist explains her dedication best, “My goal as an artist is to create art that makes people look at the world in a different way.”
“Autumn de Forest – The Power of She” opens Friday, Aug. 31 and runs through Monday, Sept. 3 at the Stone Harbor location of Ocean Galleries, 9618 Third Ave. Meet de Forest from 6 to 10 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 31, Saturday, Sept. 1 and Sunday, Sept. 2. All artwork in the collection is available for acquisition.
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, which is open 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. throughout the summer season. The Avalon location of Ocean Galleries, 2199 Ocean Dri., is open Monday through Saturday all summer from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, call (609) 368-7777 or visit oceangalleries.com.