merchants: Des Montes Art Gallery and Sculpture Garden
Des Montes Art Gallery and Sculpture Garden is a collection of art from Floyd Archuleta and other local artists in the community of Des Montes.Floyd is a former rancher of the Des Montes area.The sculptures here are made of 100% recycled material including:bailing wire,antlers, and horns.
You may have noticed a hand painted sign at the old store on the Hondo-Seco Road, announcing the Des Montes Art Gallery and Sculpture Garden. Floyd E. Archuleta, retired management and project director with the town of Taos and a Des Montes native, is a self-taught artist who prefers to paint real life scenes about livestock ranching and traditions he appreciates from his upbringing.
Retired from his day job, Archuleta also creates life size sculptures of western and wildlife subjects from recycled baling wire. “Local ranchers bring me their old baling wire, and I use it to make these sculptures. During a recent afternoon Archuleta was working on a life-sized elk. The antlers are the only thing that came from a real elk. The rest is formed from wrapping wire on a metal frame or armature. The elk joins a cowboy standing next to a horse in the sculpture garden in front of the gallery.
The son of Des Montes rancher José Manuel Archuleta, aged 94, and Mariana Torres Archuleta, 92, his Medina ancestors were among the original settlers of Arroyo Seco. Floyd Archuleta grew up as part of a working Des Montes farming ranching family. His paintings are inspired by events and scenes he witnessed on four-five day cattle drives to mountains near Tierra Amarilla and other alpine grazing sites.
The artist is a life long resident of Des Montes except for a couple of years working in Denver right after high school and some time working in Louisiana. He and his brother Lloyd also ran a mechanic shop in Des Montes, before deciding to devote more time to his art. Archuleta said the building for the gallery has been a store, wood shop, mechanic and machine shop, and a rented live-in studio. His renters have come and gone, and after the recent departure of a tenant, he decided to use it for his own metal and art works.
It’s a large space, and Archuleta said, “I want to bring in local art talent living in the Des Montes-Arroyo Seco area, a kind local art gallery for artists in the surrounding area.”