Portrait Of an Extraordinary Student Artist

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In many ways, Cliffanie Forrester is an ordinary teen. A native of New York, she was born just before the turn of the century. She has an active social life, posting images of herself and her friends on social media.

While still in her sophomore year of high school, she took a trip to Uganda, where she snapped a photo, with permission, of a little girl. Later, in her high school art class, her teacher suggested she turn the photo into a painting. Cliffanie had been sketching and drawing since kindergarten, and liked the idea. Eventually she entered the resulting work in the P.S. Art program run by the Metropolitan Museum of Art (the Met). This is a program that showcases the best works of art created by students in the city’s public schools. The program routinely receives over 1,200 entries; a rigorous jury selection process means that less than ten percent of entries are accepted.

Cliffanie’s painting was one of the winners. Not only did she receive a $1,000 scholarship, but her painting was displayed at the Met. Her all-caps comments on social media made her feelings quite clear: “WHO JUST COMPLETED THEIR LIFE GOAL AT AGE 18? ME. MY PIECE IS IN THE METROPOLITAN MUSEUM OF ART.”

It should be noted that previously, Cliffanie had struggled in school, but that changed. Indeed her prospects seem bright. She’s now enrolled in community college, and has well over 15,000 followers on social media (a crucial ingredient in a modern arts career).

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