Schleeter studied under Brooks Willis during the 1930’s and worked in several mediums including gouache, watercolor, oil, scratchboard and engraving. The Great Depression took its toll on Schleeter who occasionally found work digging ditches to make ends meet.
In 1936, his financial status greatly improved when he received the first of several commissions from the Works Progress Administration (WPA). Though he worked primarily in abstraction, the five murals he completed for a WPA commission in the Melrose Public School library are realistic depictions of the West. He worked on several more New Deal commissions during the years of 1936 and 1942 in locations including Santa Fe, Clayton, and Washington D.C. During this time, Schleeter furthered his income by teaching at a Las Vegas, New Mexico, art gallery during 1938 and 1939.
In 1945, the Encyclopedia Brittanica referred to Schleeter as “an artist’s artist.” He also received local attention when he became one of the first artists chosen by Peter Hurd and Jane Mabry for his significant contributions to New Mexico’s art. Schleeter taught at the University of New Mexico during 1950-1951 and 1954.
Member: Art League of New Mexico