Spring Station Middle eighth grader David Gonzalez moved to the United States just one and a half years ago and already his artistic talent is being recognized.

David and his family were forced to move from Venezuela to Thompson’s Station on very short notice. After coming to Williamson County, David found that art allows him to express himself.

“It was hard because I had to leave family and friends,” said David. “Millions of people are leaving. My art helps express what everyone from Venezuela feels right now. I started painting when I came here. When I make art, I feel happy.”

David’s latest piece showcases how people from Venezuela are leaving their country and the emotions David had when he and his family had to leave. He spent weeks on the project until he was happy with the results. Now, his hard work is paying off. David’s art will be on display at the Frist Art Museum from February 22 until March 10. Only two art pieces from each grade are chosen to be displayed.

“David is an amazing young man,” said SSMS art teacher Sorrel Dugan. “It’s hard some times for an eighth-grade boy of any culture to be expressive. When he showed me his proposal, I was just blown away. It’s really important to him. I am always looking for stories behind the art, and that’s what I saw in his work.”

When David’s teacher told him his painting had been chosen for the student exhibit, he was shocked.

“I couldn’t even believe it,” David said. “The painting has the flag of Venezuela at the back, and then Venezuela is crying because people are leaving. I am just so proud of it.”