From the moment you walk in, every corner of Arte Americas catches your eye.
The bright colors, the picturesque walls, striking figures and all of the rich culture portrayed through the art.
“It’s the heart and the soul of what Arte’s represents that is what we wish to share with not just the Latino community but the whole community of Fresno,” said Diana Rodriquez, board member of Arte Americas.
Arte Americas, Casa de La Cultura is central California’s largest non-profit latino cultural center.
It has 5 rotating galleries featuring local and international artists traveling exhibits, and full-scale installations by local student artists.
For over 30 years, this has been a flourishing exhibit for Latino arts.
“It’s really cool to have a space designated for (a) specific culture and to be able to kind of time travel and see what that culture was about,” said painter Andrea Torres.
What makes this museum unique is that the facility is also used as a learning destination.
All the exhibits and events are culturally educational.
“I have seen that there are a lot of families that come here to sort of find out in this visual way about the Latino culture,” said Frank Delgado, director of Arte Americas.
“It becomes a teaching facility without you thinking of it as a teaching facility,” Rodriquez added. “You go to a library you open a book, you know, here you can come and experience the beauty and the color of a culture and use it as a teaching tool not just for yourself to expand your mind and your understanding of people but also as a teaching facility for your own children.”
These galleries also give many the opportunity to learn where they came from. For others to feel like they never left their native country.
“I think it just gives them a sense of home or a sense of pride if they can’t be in their own area,” said Dolores Arredondo, manager at La Tiendita.
“If you have to leave your own culture, your own homeland and go somewhere else then that search becomes very very critical to your to find places where you are accepted and feel comfortable and I think Artes could serve that,” said Dixie Salazar, an artist.
“How do I express to someone how rich I feel for having a connection to my roots, you know the Mexican part of who I am, but it’s also here for those as well that are not of Latino extraction.”
Arte Americas is free and open to anyone regardless of their roots.
It is a family-friendly place full of art, history and plenty of souvenirs to take with you.
“We have our beautiful rebosos, talaberas, a little bit of everything hopefully that appeals to our people here.”
Arte Américas is located in Fresno, California. Visit their website for more information www.arteamericas.org