Art prodigy Autumn de Forest had a special message for those attending the 2017 Teen Vogue Summit on December 1 and 2.
“When you have something to offer that is unique…it does not matter your age, it does not matter your gender, it doesn’t not matter your race,” de Forest says. “You stand alone with that creativity, and at that point you’ve broken all boundaries, no matter what, and at that point no one can touch you.”
The 16-year-old artist and education activist is one of Teen Vogue’s “21 Under 21,” an elite group of young women changing the world through their action and messages. De Forest joined her fellow 2017 members on stage during the summit’s “21 Under 21” panel. The summit was aimed at empowering readers through workshops, speakers, and networking opportunities.
“There are some really incredible and empowering women and girls that have just done so much at such a young age,” de Forest told the Los Angeles Times.
With an ever-growing list of accomplishments under her belt, it’s easy to see why the magazine selected de Forest as one of its “21 Under 21.”
De Forest received an award from the Vatican in 2015—where she presented her artwork to Pope Francis. The young artist has also traveled around the United States as a member of the Turnaround Arts program, and regularly contributes to the Red Cross and Habitat for Humanity.
In addition to attending the summit, de Forest was featured in Teen Vogue’s article, “We Asked 8 Artists to Show Us What Young Love Looks Like to Them.” The piece features her artwork “Aleppo Boy,” which brings attention to the tragedies of the Syrian Civil War and highlights the need to love one another.
“This young soul, halfway around the world from me and injured from the horrors of war and hatred needs to know that he is loved, even by strangers in far away lands,” de Forest said of her painting.
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