Undiscovered Artists Display Works of Art; the Cummer Museum Is Hosting a Very Special Arts Festival

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Byline: Dan Scanlan

They are decorating paper hats in front of Baroque artworks in one Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens gallery, while folk songs are being sung with performer Ajamu Mutima elsewhere in the Jacksonville museum.

By the time the Very Special Arts Festival is over Friday at the Riverside Avenue museum, students from exceptional education programs in Duval, Nassau, Clay and St. Johns counties will have made art alongside the museum's other collections.

"I actually can see the art and paintings and there are a lot of activities to do here," said 11-year-old Nafije Darmishi of San Jose Elementary School.

It is a special art program, said Susan Law, a festival volunteer and human resources development expert in the Florida Diagnostic and Learning Resources System. She works with special education programs in Duval, Clay and Nassau counties.

"For many of our students, this is the first time they have ever had the opportunity to ever come into an art museum and to feel this welcome," Law said. "It maybe brings out some creativity that they have, another way they have to express themselves. …