Young Art Prodigy Autumn de Forest to Exhibit in Boston

The 13-year-old will show her work at the Ritz-Carlton and present a brand-new painting in honor of Boston Marathon bombing victims.

Think about all that you’ve achieved in your life. Now think about where you were in seventh grade. Those were the days, right?

Now prepare to feel completely unaccomplished as I introduce you to 13-year-old Autumn de Forest, a bona fide art prodigy. Her creations, even at age five, showed depth and understanding far beyond her years. Her talent has hardly gone unnoticed. Google “autumn de forest artist” and the search engine will give you an automatic summary with the title “prodigy.” The seventh grader from Las Vegas has been featured on the Discovery Channel, appeared on numerous talk shows, spoken at events, won awards, and sold hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of art. That’s right, hundreds of thousands. One work by de Forest goes for upward of $25,000.

Her expansive portfolio includes paintings that echo the styles of well-known artists who inspire her—Georgia O’Keefe, Salvador Dali, Chuck Close, Grant Wood, Vincent van Gogh, Koons, Warhol, Lichtenstein, Picasso, just to name a few. De Forest says inspiration comes easily, and that challenges usually have to do with figuring out how to best execute the ideas. Her “favorite” artist depends on the style in question—Picasso for abstract, Lichtenstein and Warhol for pop art, and even perhaps Tim Burton for German expressionism.

“I love being able to take all techniques and have several artists for each one that I can be inspired by,” she says.

Later this month, de Forest will visit Boston for the first time to show her work in an exhibit at the Ritz-Carlton. De Forest will speak at the event, where all but one of the works will be available in a live auction.

The painting that is not up for grabs is a brand-new work she’s making exclusively for Boston. Titled “Healing Steps for Boston,” the painting commemorates and honors victims of the Boston Marathon bombings.

“Once I heard about the Boston bombing, I was devastated, and I wanted to do a piece dedicated to that terrible event. ”

autumn de forest healing steps for boston

Preliminary sketch of ‘Healing Steps for Boston’ by Autumn de Forest. / Image Provided

A preliminary sketch for “Healing Steps for Boston” shows a pair of shoes surrounded by a circle of stars. De Forest will use a unique technique she developed herself—called “pull painting”—to create the image.

“I take thicker paint right out of the tube and put it on the painting, and then I take a long wire and pull it across. I’m going to do that in the colors of the Boston flag,” she explains. “Over that I plan to be doing the tennis shoes, which is a symbol of the Boston bombing. I would like to do everything I can to help the people who lost their loved ones and were traumatized by this tragic thing that happened.”

The Boston Marathon painting is also under consideration at the Mayor’s Office for de Forest to present the work to Mayor Marty Walsh. She hopes that it can be displayed in the Mayor’s Gallery at City Hall.

“When I look at it, I think about all those lives lost and destroyed because of this terrible event. I want to do everything I can to help that and inspire others,” she says.

De Forest, who told me her favorite subject other than art is literature (“You could read a book, and someone could have the total opposite opinion of you, and it still could be 100 percent right.”) says she’s extremely excited to visit Boston for the first time, especially to try the food and visit local art museums.

“I hear that Boston has one of the most incredible museums in America. Some museums I’m planning to go to are the Peabody Museum, the ICA museum, and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum,” she says. “I’m just ecstatic to go there and find inspiration for the next painting.”

Make note, readers, this petite powerhouse is likely to have her own work hanging in those museums one day.


Autumn de Forest’s artist appearance, exhibition, and live auction will take place February 27 at 10 a.m. at the Ritz-Carlton, Boston Common. The event is hosted by Park West Gallery, founded by Albert Scaglione, who has been a mentor for de Forest.

Check out some of de Forest’s previous work below. See more at