Luis Abel Gonzales
The Usko-Ayar Amazonian School of Painting was created in 1988 through a collaboration of Peruvian painter and Shaman, Pablo Amaringo, and the Colombian anthropologist Luis Eduardo Luna and his wife, Sirpa Rasanen. The first pupils remain today as teachers, and the school has more than 700 students. The school is open to all and is free of costs. Art materials and other expenses are met by sales of paintings; half is paid to the painter. A non-governmental, non-profit institution open to children, young, and everyone who wants to learn the art of painting, especially people with scarce economic resources.
The Usko-Ayar (Quecha: "Spiritual Prince") is more than an art school. It is an institution devoted to the rescue and preservation of the knowledge and the traditions of the indigenous people of the Peruvian Amazon. Their art is a documentation of the flora, fauna, and culture of the Amazon, and it promotes and preserves the traditional knowledge of medicinal and other plants of this region. Usko-Ayar's mission is to bring art within the reach of everyone through spreading technical knowledge and that the same time promoting the personal development of each one of its members, with the purpose of seeking that the human being appreciate and preserve the creation, that is to say, their environment.