Vogue’s 21 Under 21 Is Live And Spotlights Artist, Philanthropist And All Around Very Cool Girl Autumn De Forest

Girls are not just tomorrow’s leaders — they are speaking out, standing up, and fighting back today. From science to sports, all of Teen Vogue’s 21 Under 21 honorees are solving some of our most pressing problems and encouraging others to join them.

Autumn De Forest, 16

When Autumn de Forest was five, she found her father painting in his studio and wanted to give it a try. Now her paintings are exhibited all over the world and sell for tens of thousands of dollars. She is inspired by, and often compared to, icons like Jackson Pollock, Andy Warhol, and Pablo Picasso. Along with honing her enormous tal­ent, Autumn has committed herself to multiple causes. Chief among them: encouraging more art education in schools and giving young artists a platform where they can be recognized for their work. “Especially in dis­advantaged schools, they consider the arts an extracur­ricular activity,” she says. “It’s devastating, as there could be child prodigies in these schools, but they don’t know that they have this God-­given gift because they’re not given the opportunity because there’s nearly no art programs in schools.” Through her work with Michelle Obama on the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities and her own Autumn de Forest Foundation, the painting prodigy has worked to give aspiring cre­atives a voice. “It’s the best time for this entire generation to say, ‘Hey, I have this opportunity, let’s see what I can do with it.’” — Christina Holevas

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