Painted wood retablo, "Birth in Julcamarca"
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
Carrying their lambs, shepherds in traditional Andean dress find their way to Bethlehem in a beautiful Nativity scene by Alejandro Chávez. He crafts the box to house this retablo (diorama) from wood and paints it in bright colors. Each figure is carefully modeled from ceramic plaster and painted by hand. Chávez names the piece "Bethlehem in Julcamarca" for a town in the province of Huancavelica.
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.