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Latino Art in Downtown New Haven

         Ben Casiano with one of his female figures in the arts series, acrylic on canvas.

Is  there such a thing as a Latino aesthetic in art?
While the jury is out on that question, the first formal gallery show of Latino artists in downtown New Haven is unquestionably a significant event.
That consensus emerged at the opening reception of “Latin Figures,” the new show at Gateway Community College’s New Alliance Art Gallery at the corner of Church and George streets, which drew 40 admirers to the brightly lit, inviting gallery space for the Thursday night opening reception.
The show runs through Feb. 17. Organized and curated by Arte, Inc. in Fair Haven, it features the work of five mid-career artists: Claudio Altesor, Benjamin Casiano, Ricky Mestre, Eddie Nino, and Sandra Rossini.
It presents a range of styles and mediums, from Casiano’s big, Matisse-like bold color works, to Nino’s subdued but intense graphite portraits, to Mestre’s graphic art-inspired messaging.

Arte’s David Greco, who curated the show with Casiano, said there are a lot of Latino artists at varying levels of achievement, many of whom have shown at Arte’s gallery in Fair Haven.

restaurants or bank lobbies, there has never been a full fledged show of Latino artists’ work in a formal gallery space.
The current show is just that, and that’s why Greco pronounced it significant. He said the Gateway Foundation offered Arte a small grant during Hispanic Heritage week, which Arte helps to organize, and the show emerged out of that opportunity.
To help make the selection, Greco recruited
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