In the Ruiz Gallery
Feb 1 - April 1, 2012

Arte Américas will begin their 25th Anniversary year with a rare collection of original work by acclaimed Latina artist Esperánza Martinez.  These rare paintings, drawings, and hand-written letters are from the private collections of a South Valley group of Martinez’s closest friends, fans and collectors. 

In the late 80s the Tulare County League of Mexican-American Women honored Esperánza for her lifelong work as a Latina trailblazer.  An exhibit of her work was part of the event – which inspired several attendees to make their first art purchase.  Guest curator Ramona Walker was one of Esperanza’s closest friends and was able to negotiate the loan of artwork from private collections that have never been seen before.

Esperánza was a Mexican-born painter who overcame sex discrimination to place her vibrant, sweeping paintings in museums and collections around the world.  It is reported that she began drawing when she was only three, attracted the attention of an art teacher at seven, and sold her first painting at twelve. Female artists in Mexico in the 1930s and 1940s were not highly regarded, she often recalled. Esperánza’s family, in fact, declined to promote her studies.
Ever-inspired by her artistic passion, Esperánza worked two jobs and sold paintings to pay her tuition at Mexico City's Academia de San Carlos, where muralist Diego Rivera was the Director

Her works – done in oils, charcoal, pencil or ceramic paint –  have been displayed at the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art, Moscow's Pushkin Museum and in Los Angeles at the Casa del Adobe Museum.

After a long battle with breast cancer in 1998, Esperánza died at the age of 64.

  • To read a more extensive bio written by guest curator Ramona Walker, click here

  • Reporter and arts supporter Donald Munro featured the Esperanza exhibit in a story for the Fresno's Bee's "7" section!  Click here to read the story.


In the Galería de la Comunidad
Beyond Design Realism: 
Original Works by Giancarlo Novi  
Feb 1 - April 1, 2012

In our most active gallery, Arte Américas introduces artists to the community.  This year’s first new artist is Giancarlo Novi, an artist of Italian-Mexican heritage who developed a style he called "Design Realism”. 

Guest curator Ginger Julian
oversaw the transport of a large collection of the Novi’s work; which represents various stages of the artist’s expansive career.   

Born in 1919, Novi moved to Mexico City for many years, pursuing his profession of graphic designer. His early paintings,  reflection of this phase of his life.In the 80s, his love for Mexican folk crafts inspired him to search for and find a new technique – a new gamut of brighter and more vigorous colors. 
He interpreted Mexican toys, objects and themes with this technique he called "papel encolado", evoking the spirit off Mexican craftsman. 
 In the '90s he continued to re-invent himself – from a focus on  clowns and nudes to the development of his Design Realism style.  Novi has exhibited in the Galleria Misrachi, The Beimler Gallery, and the Museum of Modern Art in Mexico City.