The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City houses one of the greatest collections on Earth. It features paintings by Renoir, Picasso, Rembrandt, Vermeer, Matisse, Monet and van Gogh, among thousands of other works. They just scored another major acquisition, too: "Uganda," by Cliffannie Forrester, an 18-year-old high school senior.
Forrester's striking oil portrait of a young girl looking off-frame while holding her billowing skirt was inspired by a missionary trip she took to Uganda last summer. "The narrative of this portrait symbolizes innocence and hope," said Maria Jimenez, her teacher at the High School of Art & Design in New York, in . "Cliffannie wanted her subject to touch viewers, and make them consider that black lives matter and that little girls matter, in any part of the world. Cliffannie's powerful message was captured in this compelling composition and because of it, we are all transformed."
"Uganda" is part of at the Met entitled "P.S. Art 2016: Celebrating the Creative Spirit of New York City Kids." It's a collection of 90 works by students in pre-school through twelfth grade, so of course Forrester is not the only teenager being showcased.
So what makes her particular painting so special? Aside from the honor of being chosen, it may just be her jubilant reaction on social media. Her tweet about her dreams coming true was liked or retweeted over 100,000 times in the last week.
Her comments to the Met were a bit more staid: "I wouldn't have been able to produce the body of work I have if it wasn't for Ms. Jimenez," Forrester said. "She recognized my abilities and encouraged me to study various artists such as Edgar Degas and Diego Velázquez."
To think, "Uganda" is now hung in the same building as Degas' ballerinas in "" or Velázquez's portrait of "." Life goals, indeed.