This paper presents a research project conducted with Grades 9-12 students in Canada and Guatemala where the visual arts were used to explore identity. Participants engaged in a short-term artful inquiry in which they were asked to create a piece of visual art that represented their cultural roots, self in present society and hopes for the future. Various modes of representation including drawing and collage were used. When considering the data, emergent themes and the overall project, unexpected reverberations about the ethical impact of doing arts based work emerged. These questions led to further questions about how creative engagement, individual and collective transformation within the classroom environment does/does not occur as a result of creative engagement.