"I want to share Peru's beauty so that it is never forgotten. For me, this art is a way of sharing what I left in Ayacucho, the lovely land where I was born…."
"This is a medium of expression for me to show the world how beautiful nature is, especially in the Peruvian Andes. I know it so well – my roots are there, and my work depicts our traditions, customs and landscapes.
"I'm Balvina Huaytalla Paquiyauri and I was born in Ayacucho on February 5, 1979. I lived in the sierra until I was four. During the time of terrorism, my parents and brothers had to escape. We left our animals, farms and houses, and fled to Lima but we had nowhere to live. We settled on a mountainside in order to get ahead.
"I learned my art at an ONG workshop in Pamplona Alta. I wasn't able to study past fifth semester of middle school, so I thank God for this workshop. They made beautiful things in arpillería, a traditional Andean appliqué art. I found a special satisfaction learning more to be able to help out at home. I remember I began making cards, belts and wall hangings, all in arpillería. As time went by, my work got better as I worked harder on the final details of each piece. I really enjoy fabric art, putting the pieces together. The landscapes are incomparable.
"The first time I made an oven mitt, it was enormous – large enough for Manolo, the tallest man in Peru who measures seven feet nine inches. A friend told me I should make the gloves small enough to fit her, and so I learned each part of this art. I want to show a style of my own.
"I want to share Peru's beauty so that it is never forgotten. For me, this art is a way of sharing what I left in Ayacucho, the lovely land where I was born, where I ran and played in the fresh air. I wish so much we could have stayed.
"My greatest challenge has been to make a good life for my son, the struggle to raise him by myself.
"I hope you like my work. I create each piece with great love."
Expertly carving cedar wood, Alejandro Ramírez depicts the first Christmas in a classic composition. Mary, Joseph and the animals gaze at little Jesus as he sleeps in the manger. An angel hovers nearby and the Christmas star shines above the stable like....read more
Leonor Quispe gives an Andean setting to the very first Christmas. While the Wise Men wend their way to the stable, an angel hovers above the manger to watch over the Holy Family. Whitewashed homes cluster amid fruit trees and nopal cactus and the cattle....read more
Balvina Huaytalla celebrates the birth of Jesus with an endearing nativity scene set in the Andean highlands. Working in the traditional arpillería, appliqué, she portrays the Holy Family inside a cabin by the shore of Lake Titicaca. The three....read more
Mary and Joseph welcome Baby Jesus with a smile as stars illuminate the Andean skyline. Alberto Aparicio Canchari designs this endearing nativity scene surrounded by Inca glyphs and florid Ayacucho motifs. Canchari crafts the nativity scene of ceramic....read more
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