Felipe and Leroy Archuleta

Felipe Benito Archuleta 1910-1991
Leroy Archuleta 1949-2002

Felipe Archuleta is considered to be the founding father of the non-santero wood-carving tradition in New Mexico. He claims that he began carving in response to a command from God, but he chose to carve animals instead of saints because he said he was not worthy to be a santero. His ferocious yet delightful animals have distinctive personality traits, sometimes scowling, sometimes fierce, but they have the inherent appeal of domestic pets. Archuleta sometimes made small black and white drawings of his carvings, which are highly collectible. Leroy Archuleta has followed in his father’s footsteps, but added many personal touches to his own animal carvings. The art of the Archuletas is in many museum collections.

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