Emilio Lobato III was born in 1959 in San Pablo, a farming village in the Sangre de Cristo Range of Southern Colorado. Born of Spanish-Colonial ancestry, Lobato is the 16th generation of his family in this country. For close to 300 years his family has tilled the soil, herded sheep and raised their families in what is now Northern New Mexico and Southern Colorado. In addition to farming, several of Lobato’s ancestors were weavers, painters, jewelers and other crafts-persons. Throughout the years Lobato’s ancestors relied on their faith, which is entrenched in the Catholic tradition, to give them the strength to make a living form the soil and the inspiration to make their art. It is that history of creativity, necessity and spirituality that Lobato credits as sources for his creative drive. This rich tradition has often been the subject matter for his work. Raised in an environment of isolation and great natural beauty, it is surprising that Lobato has chosen abstraction or a “non-objective” style. Unlike many ethnic artists, Lobato does not translate his cultural identity in a traditional manner. He is interested in reducing his subjects to their basic elements. Lobato uses shapes, light, color and relationships to convey the essence or “spirit” of the world around him.
Lobato received a B.A. degree from Colorado College in 1982. In 1986 Lobato was awarded the NEH Hispanic Internship at the Denver Art Museum. It was during that internship that Lobato curated an exhibition of Mexican Folk Art in conjunction with All Souls, All Saints Day celebration Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead). Lobato returned to the Denver Art Museum in 1989 and served as the office administrator for the Education Department until 1993.
Lobato’s work can also be found in the Kirkland Museum, Denver, CO, the Denver Art Museum, and galleries nationally. The Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center had a retrospective of Lobato’s work in 2011 titled, Mi Linda Soledad.