Alumni Stories: “Where Are They Now?”

Forrester spends the day in his studio.
Forrester pictured as a teen at AFH.

He explained, “They’d give me the paychecks, and I’d be like, this is silly. They’re paying me money to do what I love!”

The organization showed him that he could build a career as a working artist, and provided him with the support he needed. “AFH helped me realize that there is a path for young Black men as creatives. Not only is it possible, but we almost have a cheat code because there’s this entire tribe of people behind you telling you that you can make it, which is very different from what the world tells you.”

One of Forrester’s works from his time in the Painting Studio.

“It was kind of scary sometimes, being like, oh my god, [the world] wants me to be a bus boy and a prep cook, but I’m going to be a fine artist!” he explained.

Education Director Lesley Kantlehner pushed him to complete his college applications, which he initially dragged his feet on. “It was like pulling teeth,” he remembered. “I’d have my essay written but I didn’t want to submit it and Lesley would make me do it in front of her. Shoutout Lesley. That woman is a college wizard.”

Forrester working with one of his teens at AFH.
One of Forrester’s more recent paintings.



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