The New Bedford Downtown Public Library is working with various immigrant groups in the city, displaying artwork and other items that highlight their cultural heritage.

Newly-arrived residents from Afghanistan put together a display earlier this year. Now, artists from South and Central America who live in New Bedford are displaying their artwork at the downtown library in an exhibit that will last through October 30.

It's fitting because October is Hispanic Heritage Month. Paulina Fuenzalida Guzman is curator of the exhibit and she joined Townsquare Sunday this week.

Guzman said the exhibit includes paintings, leather craft and photography. She said most of the artists are not professionals; they live and work in New Bedford, and don't have a lot of time to devote to activities like painting.

"Some of the work shows the story of their lives, their experiences, and their culture that is represented in the pieces of art," Guzman said.

Donated Photo
Contributed Photo

Many residents living here from Central America shun the spotlight at all costs, so Guzman said it took a year to find the artists and convince them to show their art. She believes the exhibit will have a positive impact.

"It's a way to show another face of immigration," Guzman said. "It's a contribution to the culture and society as a whole."

Townsquare Sunday is a weekly community affairs program heard Sundays on WBSM.

The program highlights individuals and organizations seeking to make the SouthCoast a better place to live and work.

If you would like your organization featured on Townsquare Sunday, please email the host at

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Gallery Credit: Ariel Dorsey

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