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VIDEO: Autumn de Forest receives art award from the Vatican

VIDEO: Autumn de Forest receives art award from the Vatican

Autumn de Forest, the youngest artist with Park West Gallery, has accomplished what she calls a “life-changing honor” that has affirmed her path as an artist and humanitarian.

On Nov. 7, the 14-year-old artist had the distinct honor of receiving the International Giuseppe Sciacca Award for Painting and Art, an award given by the Vatican. She received the award during a ceremony in Rome.

The award was founded in 2001 by the International Association of Culture and Voluntary Work ‘Uomo e Società’ [‘Man and Society’] and named after Giuseppe Sciacca, a young architecture student noted during his short life for his sporting activities and social concern.

The award is given to individuals under 35 years old who show talent in the fields of knowledge and art, are also role models to their community, and are a moral and educational example in society’s development.

“The Giuseppe Sciacca Award is a life-changing honor for me. I have always felt it is important to help others, but I never imagined I would be noticed for that – I thought it was the right thing to do,” Autumn says.

Autumn has contributed to charitable causes, such as Red Cross, Habitat for Humanity, This Bar Saves Lives, the Diller Blind Home for Children, and encouraging art education as a participating artist in Turnaround Arts, a signature program for the Presidents’ Committee on the Arts and Humanities.

“If my artwork can help those who have been in a tragedy, or a natural disaster, by helping young people to express their hope, or even their fears with creativity, well, that is just an incredible feeling,” she says.

As a sign of respect and gratitude, Autumn practiced what she wished to say to the Giuseppe Sciacca Foundation, but did so in Italian. She thanked them for giving her the opportunity to inspire others, and that she will treasure the award for the rest of her life.

“I have always wanted to change the world for the better with my art, and if my paintings can help other young people express themselves, by providing money for musical instruments, arts education, or to help supply arts materials, that is just incredible. That is just an incredible honor,” she says.

She also created artwork with religious iconography that she presented during the ceremony. The artwork was displayed at the Gallery Coronari in Rome.

Although she has accomplished so much in such a short time, Autumn looks forward to writing new chapters in her life as she continues to be a force of good and inspiration.

“This award helps me be more than just a ‘girl who paints,’” she says. “I am so humbled, and for it to be my first visit to Europe is just incredible.”

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Autumn de Forest visits Turnaround Arts school in D.C.

Autumn de Forest visits Turnaround Arts school in D.C.

On Tuesday, September 29, the President’s Committee on The Arts and Humanities (PCAH) in Washington D.C invited Autumn de Forest to visit Savoy Elementary School, one of the original eight pilot schools selected to participate in Turnaround Arts, a signature program of the PCAH.

Autumn exhibited a technique she uses in some of her works called “pull painting” and delighted both the Pre-K and fifth-grade art students by having them do their own paintings right alongside her. A wonderful, enthusiastic and informative artistic morning was had by all.

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“I was so honored to be able to visit the Savoy Elementary School in Washington, D.C. this week,” she says. “I met with a group of Pre-K kids and a group of fifth graders too, and we all painted together. I was really excited to show them some of my special tools and tricks, and just talk about how much fun it is to create and to be an artist.”

Following, Autumn addressed an all-school assembly, during which she explained her message of passion for her artistry, the ability to make a difference in the world, and to work hard and strive to be the best you can be at those things you love to do.

“Wow, what an incredible, vibrant bunch of young souls!” she says. “It made me smile and cry at the same time. I consider it such a privilege to speak to kids about the importance of creativity.

“Expressing myself and not being afraid to say ‘I made this’ has been such a powerful force in my life. It has been the seed that has allowed me to travel the world and meet so many incredible people. I am honored to work with the Turnaround Arts program. This program helps schools that really need the arts, music, dance and theatre. They were fantastic hosts, and I love what they do!”

Canvases, paints and other supplies for the life-changing experience were generously donated by Park West Gallery.

Autumn de Forest receives International Vatican Award in Painting and Art

PR Newswire

Park West Gallery, known for fine art auctions on cruise ships, live art auctions in major metropolitan areas and art galleries in Detroit and Miami Lakes, Florida, is pleased to announce that one of its artists, Autumn de Forest, has been named the recipient of the International Vatican Award in Painting and Art.

As the recipient, Autumn will attend a ceremony on Nov. 7, 2015 in Vatican City. The award and its nominations are granted to individuals under 35 years old who have shown talent in the fields of knowledge and art, and have shown themselves to be role models to their community and a moral and educational example in society’s development.

The award was founded in 2001 by the International Association of Culture and Voluntary Work ‘Uomo e Società’ [‘Man and Society’] and named after Giuseppe Sciacca, an architecture student noted for his sporting activities and social concern. He died at age 26, following an accident when his parachute failed during celebrations in honor of the Blessed Virgin of Divine Love in Rome.

Autumn’s nomination was predicated on her artistic aptitude and desire to merge her creative talents with a sense of duty to the global community. She was the chosen recipient of the award because her humanitarian and charitable efforts have been significant.

These charitable commitments have included The Red Cross, Habitat for Humanity, The Diller Blind Home for Children, and This Bar Saves Lives.

Autumn is a prolific painter who, at the age of six, began building what became an incredible oeuvre of works. Her exhibitions have defined her as one of the most accomplished and recognized artistic prodigies of our time. Autumn is also the youngest artist ever to be represented by Park West Gallery.

Autumn’s passion even led to an invitation to speak at Harvard University on the importance of keeping arts in schools. Autumn has the honor of being the youngest artist ever featured at the National Art Education Association’s annual convention.

About Park West Gallery:
Founded in 1969, Park West Gallery has connected artists to more than 1.8 million fine art collectors via land and sea art auctions by creating entertaining, educational and welcoming environments that ignite a passion for the arts. For more information, please visit Park West Gallery at www.parkwestgallery.com.

Interviews are available with Autumn de Forest.

Boston Globe tag

Autumn de Forest in The Boston Globe

Artist, 13, shows works at the Ritz

Thirteen-year-old artist Autumn de Forest, who’s sometimes referred to by the media as a prodigy, spoke about her work at the Ritz-Carlton hotel Friday. Once commissioned by Disney to do a series of paintings of Disney princesses, Autumn’s paintings have fetched as much as $25,000. A few of her paintings on display at the Ritz were inspired by the Boston Marathon bombings. . . . Meanwhile, Suffolk University hosted a reception for longtime Globe photographer Bill Brett, who has a new book, “Boston Irish.” The crowd included developer Kevin Ahearn, Sister Mary Black, comedians Steve Sweeney and Don Gavin, Ad Club president Kathy Kiely, Ireland’s Consul General in Boston Breandan o’Caollai, Vivien Li, WGBH’s Emily Rooney, and TV personality Bianca de la Garza.