Handmade Folk Art Retablo Sculpture of the Virgen del Carmen, "Our Lady of Mount Carmel"
This item is available for backorder and will ship within 2 to 8 weeks. Read more
This item is available for pre-order and will ship within 2 to 8 weeks. Read more
Wearing an elaborate crown, Our Lady of Mount Carmel extends her arms in benediction. Alejandro Chávez portrays the Madonna named for Mount Carmel in the Holy Land, where a chapel was built in her honor before her assumption into heaven. In 1251, she appeared in England, offering favors and protection to those who wear her scapular. Also known as Immaculate Virgin and Star of the Sea, she inspired the Carmelite order.
Known as a retablo, this traditional diorama is housed in a colorful chest crafted of wood and painted. Chávez carefully models each figure and paints them by hand.
Novica sales provide Alejandro's family workshop with a steady cash flow. These sales account for nearly half of their monthly income, helping to ensure their survival. Markets and other seasonal outlets provide supplemental income that contributes to their annual living expenses. In the coming years, Alejandro hopes to grow his workshop and better his family by increasing his Novica sales.
At school in Ayacucho, Alejandro began to learn the indigenous art of Andean retableria. Seeking to refine his craft, he apprenticed at the workshop of Angel Castro to learn the secrets of a master retablista. Upon his teacher's death, Alejandro founded his own workshop. There he began to incorporate his wife's modeled figures into his traditional retablos. Today Alejandro's nephews are his apprentices and his family workshop continues to craft their beloved retablos, which recount the culture and traditions of the Andes.
One year away from his 50th birthday, Alejandro and his wife adopted a son and a daughter (Jose and Carol) from their hometown. Today Alejandro continues to provide for the education of his children and his grandchild, who joined the family in 2018. His daughter Carol is studying accounting and his son Jose is at the police academy.
Alejandro Chavez has received 4 microcredit loans with 0% interest from Kiva and Novica, the first for $800 and the most recent for $1100. Proceeds were used to invest in the purchase of raw materials such as plaster, ceramic, plywood and paint.
This artist striving to supporting their own or their family's basic needs and improve their livelihood.