Maria-Esther Magallanes' acrylic paintings will be on display in Darien Library's art gallery until Saturday, Feb. 16. An opening reception for the exhibition will take place at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 1.

Magallanes, who was born in Mexico City, comes from a family of accomplished artists and was raised surrounded by and appreciating all forms of art.

Traveling to many cultural destinations around the world and growing up within Mexico City's cosmopolitan atmosphere and rich cultural heritage enhanced her motivation to start creating formally while still a teenager.

Earning a college degree in graphic design enabled her to experiment with materials, techniques, color and form to express ideas, concepts and feelings.

Such experimentation led to mastering acrylic, the material that she has been using consistently over the past 20 years.

Mexico's cultural, architectural, natural and geographic diversity provided Magallanes with plenty of inspiration to experiment with color and forms. Her work is based on the use of vibrant, nearly violent, colors and shapes to interpret nature and landscapes.

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Her trademark style is marked by her admiration for and the inspiration provided by Pablo Picasso and Al Held, as well as Mexican painters Diego Rivera, Jose Clemente Orozco and Pedro Coronel.

Her work decorates the homes of many art collectors throughout Mexico, the United States and Europe.

Magallanes has a bachelor's degree in graphic design from Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico City.

She has completed different painting courses at the Silvermine Arts Center in New Canaan.

Darien Library, 1441 Post Road, is open Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m. For information, call 203-655-1234 or visit