The community is invited to experience smARTshow, a conceptual fourth-grade art show featuring student work from the Manuel A. Salinas Creative Arts Elementary School, for an evening of thought-provoking art.

This show is a collaboration between Oraib Mango, CSUSB professor of world languages and literatures, and William Beshears, a fourth-grade GATE (Gifted and Talented Education) teacher at the elementary school.

The exhibition will be on display at the Garcia Center for the Arts, 536 W. 11th St. in downtown San Bernardino, from May 5-19, with an opening reception on Friday, May 5, at 5 p.m.

The smARTshow is part of the Al-Najm program, founded by Mango and Beshears. The two educators created Al-Najm (“star” in Arabic and the school’s symbol) to bring college-level thinking to elementary school students, increase student agency, and create a more engaging educational experience for the students’ families. 

This program introduces students to conceptual art through the development of thought-provoking paintings, sculptures, and performative art. The final exhibition will showcase the fourth-grade class’s motivation to experiment, take creative risks and challenge norms through art.  

Mango received a 2012-13 Community-Based Research Mini-Grant from the CSUSB Office of Community Engagement to begin the Al-Najm program with the Manuel A. Salinas Creative Arts Elementary School.

“Working with Mr. Beshears and fourth-grade students has inspired me to think in new ways,” Mango said. “It allowed me to break free of restrictions and set me free to develop new ways of looking, seeing, wondering, dreaming and questioning, which are at the heart of teaching and scholarship.”  

For more information, contact Oraib Mango at

Special thanks to the Garcia Center for the Arts, CSUSB Office of Community Engagement, CSUSB Department of World Languages and Literatures, San Bernardino City Unified School District, and the families of Manuel A. Salinas Performing Arts Elementary School.