SPRINGDALE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — Don Tyson School of Innovation students are being celebrated as they are featured in a free Declaration of Learning Art Exhibition and Ethnic Celebration through April 5.

The exhibition will be featured from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily at the 214 Cache Art Gallery in Springdale with free student art, ethnic food samples and live entertainment offered exclusively on April 2.

According to a press release, DTSOI is one of about 25 schools selected from throughout Arkansas to participate and design cultural engagement lessons to be shared with teachers across the nation through the Arkansas and U.S. Department of State’s National Declaration of Learning programs, said Warren Utsler, DTSOI art teacher.

“The goal of this project is to create community engagement projects that will be shared with secondary educators across America,” he said. “The project uses historic art and artifacts from museums and historic institutions to create engaging research and art experiences for students to discover their history and unite as one community.”

Student works include art experiences built around understanding their heritage, culture, contributions to the whole community and building relationships.

Some featured projects include:

  • Creating a personal coat of arms
  • Assembling a wall hanging celebrating pride
  • Laying the past to rest by recognizing ethnic tragedies and genocide
  • Live facial castings to allow students to celebrate themselves as ethnic artists
  • Creating paths to the community in which they live and sharing their family’s journey to NWA
  • Unification through pop art sculptures of ethnic food

Utsler said he hopes the students’ works will help open others’ eyes to the world around them. “Our youth can lead our community, state and national leaders to grasp some very basic concepts and truths often overshadowed by politics and economics.”