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Leroy Ramon Archuleta, Bear with Fish (detail), 1994, Gift of Robbi Raitt

Leroy Ramon Archuleta


Leroy Ramon Archuleta began carving wooden animals at the age of 16 at his home in Tesuque, New Mexico. Like his father, Felipe, he carved animals that were native to New Mexico and animals pictured in children's books. Although careers as a tree cutter and bottler for a Seven-Up factory relocated him to Colorado, he moved back to Tesuque in 1975 to help his father. Archuleta would often use fallen cottonwood trees that he would find along the New Mexico arroyos, and roughly shape them using a chainsaw. Explaining how his sculptures are distinctive from his father's, he said, "I use sandpaper, for instance; he wouldn't take the time," and he would sometimes use actual skulls or antlers of animals. In 1997, a book of his work was published entitled, Leroy's Zoo featuring several of his folk art carvings. Leroy died in 2002.