Jeronimo E. Lozano carries on the ancient Peruvian tradition of hand-crafted retablos, originally portable altar boxes carried by travelers for protection. The retablos, brought to Peru by the Spaniards, often held images of Catholic saints and may have had their origins in the diptyches of medieval European churches. Lozano, a native of the mountainous Ayacucho region of Peru, worked with renowned retablo master Joaquín López Antay. Following in his master's footsteps, Jeronimo expanded the tradition of retablo making beyond the religious to include the depiction of fiestas, street scenes, and even political commentary. As he became more famous, his work was exhibited in museums in Lima and in other countries of South America. With the rise of terrorism in his home region, his family and friends were subject to displacement and his father died as a result of the tragic circumstances related to the rise of the Shining Path. Lozano, who was studying art at the University of Lima at the time, felt that he could not return home. Even in Lima his life seemed in danger, so in 1994, while on a tour of the United States with a folkloric dance troupe, he arranged for an extended visa. Lozano eventually established residence in the U.S., still considering himself an ambassador for Andean arts. While he maintained the original tradition of hand-painting and hand-sculpting intricate scenes, his subject matter began to reflect his experiences in Mormon Utah and the West. He demonstrates his process and exhibits his work at regional festivals, and in 2002 he received the Utah Governor's Folk Art Award.
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