The artistic talent of fourth graders from Manuel A. Salinas Creative Arts Elementary School will be on display at the third annual smARTshow, starting with an opening reception on Friday, May 3, from 5-7 p.m. This art show is a collaboration between Oraib Mango, professor of world languages and literatures, and William Beshears, a fourth-grade GATE (Gifted and Talented Education) teacher at the elementary school. This event is free and open to the public.

Held at the Garcia Center for the Arts, named to honor the legacy of Ernest Garcia, a revered former dean of CSUSB’s College of Education, the exhibition is not only a display of creativity but also a tribute to educational excellence. Located in downtown San Bernardino, at 536 W. 11th St., the Garcia Center will exhibit the students' work from May 3-9.

The smARTshow is part of the Al-Najm program, initiated by educators Mango and Beshears. Named after the Arabic word for "star," which also represents the school's emblem, Al-Najm aims to elevate the thinking of elementary students to the level often encountered in college classrooms. It also seeks to empower students to take charge of their learning while providing a more immersive and interactive educational experience for their families.

The Al-Najm program offers students an introduction to conceptual art, allowing them to create thought-provoking paintings, sculptures and live art performances. The upcoming exhibition is a testament to the fourth graders' eagerness to explore, embrace creativity, and question conventional ideas through their artwork.

Mango initiated the Al-Najm program at Manuel A. Salinas Creative Arts Elementary School with the aid of a Community-Based Research Mini-Grant awarded by the CSUSB Office of Community Engagement for the 2012-2013 academic year.

For more information, contact Mango at

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

smARTshow flyer