Elroy Natachu, Jr.

Elroy Natachu Jr.
Zuni, Painter
Artist Statement

 My artistic journey started at a young age.  I was born into a family of native craft specialists and  grew up mainly on my mother’s side of the family, with my grandfather Sefferino L. Eriacho Sr as my moral/spiritual compass. He taught discipline as well stories of Zuni and its vast history/religion. From these teaching I began working through visual media, sketches, and drawings.

I learned at an early age to overcome various obstacles. I was born with one semi-formed left hand and one fully formed right hand. Even so, with this condition, I still managed to learn various arts such as beading, embroidery, sewing, painting (watercolor, oil paints, acrylics), and carving (Kachina dolls, fetishes).

After honing my craft in high school, I started to study Studio Arts at the University of New Mexico-Gallup Campus.  Mr. Ken Roberts most influenced and taught me techniques and skills that pushed me out of my comfort zone. Though out of my comfort zone, the experience pushed my art to the next caliber: infusing traditional figures and detail with a modern twist.

My main subject matter of choice is the Zuni Kachinas. The reason being is to instill a sense of cultural preservation; in this modern age, the younger generation is not growing up as I did.  I hope to help further instill and advance the importance of oral tradition and the passing on of cultural knowledge with the stories and teachings of how these sacred beings and entities were held in high regard by our ancestors.  Through my use of visual media, I seek to bridge the past with the present.