Getting creative with Autumn de Forest at The Butler

Autumn de Forest The Kid's painting

If you’ve popped on the site before (thank you!), you may have checked out a post on Autumn de Forest-teen artist extraordinaire. She has a natural way of inspiring kids of all ages and artistic levels to simply create art. Her passion and love of painting is so obvious and her goal? She simply wants to do something to help the world. As simple, and as beautiful, as that.

Autumn de Forest Butler Institute

Easy enough, right? Autumn certainly commanded the room during a recent visit to The Butler Institute of American Art in Youngstown, Ohio, and The Kid was lucky enough to take part in her painting instructional.

Autumn Painting

Painting instructional? Yep!

Autumn’s the youngest member of the Presidents’ Committee on the Arts & Humanities, and the bubbly artist designed a fun way to help underprivileged students and under-resourced schools across the country by teaching painting classes. She shows kids how easy it is to get creative and channel their inner artistic side. All the required art supplies were generously underwritten by The Park West Foundation and included paints, canvases, and brushes.

autumn-de-forest-and-children
The Many Faces of an Autumn de Forest Workshop In-Classroom w/ Turnaround Arts San Bernardino, Ca 2016

At the beginning of the 2016 school year, The Butler was notified that thousands of students in the surrounding area of Youngstown, Ohio would be unable to visit the perennial arts destination for students in K through 12, so The Park West Foundation  jumped in and donated the costs to transport a number of Youngstown regional school group trips to The Butler during Autumn’s visit.

“When I visit schools, I only have one class period to prove to kids how powerful their creativity can be, so I designed a special plan to guarantee a win. I know that if I can leave every student with a great artwork that they painted, it can be a daily reminder to them, “I can do this!” I have learned that a creative victory can be a very powerful thing.”  Autumn de Forest

 

Autumn de Forest instructing class

The Oldest of Techniques in the Newest of Ways

Using new techniques via phone apps and melding them with common art supplies: thinned-down water colors, Sharpies, and canvases. The goal was to create a self portrait. An uncommon self portrait. Although I have to admit, there’s no common or normal in art. It’s all about passion.

After a quick tutorial from Autumn, The Kid got down to work to create her own art piece.

The Kid Autumn de Forest

Autumn de Forest had a few helpers from the local high school taking turns with all of the kids that turned out to create and paint.

The Kid painting with Autumn de forest at The Butler Institute

 

You know what I loved best? I thought I knew how it would look after it was finished ( I know her style, favorite colors, and mood well), but I was totally wrong! Look, I know The Kid’s talented and I know how much art is a part of life for her, but it was those moments where she was truly in her element that I found so inspirational. For that moment in time the world, her school work- everything- disappeared and it was only her, the canvas and a few colors of paint.

Autumn de Forest is inspiring one child at a time and I’m elated she can add The Kid to that list.

A huge thank you to Miss de Forest and The Butler for giving us inspiration on a lovely “Autumn” day. 

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