Small stature, curious eyes and hands itching. The young girl with feet planted on the cool concrete floor watched the skill and expertise of her grandfather with brush in hand. For a week’s time here and there, she’d visit her great–grandparents’ home. The smells and looks of which mirrored the age of its owners.
“My great grandfather was a painter; he painted with oils and was also a photographer,” said Andrea Lazaro, a junior studying art. “He lived in Spain but fled to Mexico during the Spanish civil war.”
In her childhood, Andrea had the opportunity to see her great–grandfather, Jaime Lazaro, in his artistic element. Though her memories are few compared to those of her parents, his example and eye for creativity impacted her developing love for art.
“Since I was very young I loved to draw. I think it came as a result of watching him,” said Andrea, giggling. “There was a time I would create personages and would draw them often and their clothes, and color their clothes.”
Andrea described that while for some children the concept of an artist perhaps brings famous and abstract individuals like Michelangelo to mind, for her, it’s a very real individual — her great-grandfather.
For Andrea Guzman, a junior studying biochemistry, the perception of art has changed as a result of her friendship with Andrea Lazaro. Their friendship began when they were placed as roommates during their first semester of college.
From activities with roommates centered around creating art, gifting artwork to friends and her devotion to her design classes, Guzman shares that for Lazaro art is everywhere.
“During devotionals, I would look to the side and would see she would draw chairs,” said Guzman. “At times I thought, ‘She isn’t paying attention,’ amused I noticed she would draw a piano, or the podium. I would just take a look at it and say, ‘Ah, she likes to draw.’”
As Andrea Lazaro described one of her early drawings a smile came to her face, revealing dimples on her cheeks. Through scribbles to others she shared, her great-grandfather saw an abstract piece. Her crayon drawing inspired her great-grandfather to reproduce her drawing as an olio painting hung on the wall of his home as she would visit.
With the same confidence instilled by her great-grandfather, Andrea invites her friends to see her works to have an opportunity to contemplate the art for themselves. Whether sharing how her projects are coming along, doodling or inviting friends to the exhibits at school when her art is showcased on campus each semester, Andrea Lazaro finds joy in discussing art and concepts that have gone into what she creates.
When Guzman thinks of her friend, her happy disposition and excitement come to mind. “She is persistent and creative,” Guzman said.
That very persistence and love for art have been passed on to Andrea through her creative heritage.
“We have always loved music,” said Tatis Hernandez Lozano, mother of Andrea Lazaro. “My grandmother always wanted her children to be cultas y educadas. From a young age she loved to read and write.”
The task of being educated included developing a love and appreciation for the arts in all their forms. Though they had little education, her maternal great-grandmother wanted her descendants to surpass their own understanding so they could relate with others in the world. Tatis shared how her grandmother shared a love of art, which she in return was able to pass on to her children.
This love of art was embedded in Andrea Lozano.
“She was three years old and she drew two paintings,” said Tatis. “In one appeared a piano and on another a pepper in a form that was perfect and well done even for being just a young girl.”
Acrylics, crayons, paints were all materials Tatis would bring home to her children. Conversations of art, theatrical works and music were all common in the home for Andrea Lozano growing up.
Tatis recounted how for Andrea, choosing her focus of study helped her to develop a drive to push through the doubt and the limitations that come to mind.
“Since she is a young woman who is very determined to do things and never limits herself, she always develops that character to get things done,” Tatis said.
Though Lazaro’s style art is different, her mother said that her great-grandfather would be proud to see how Andrea has developed as an artist. Though her set of tools are different from those of her great-grandfather, her strokes are guided by inherited passion and creativity in creating art.