Les Namingha (b.1967) is the son of Emerson Namingha, the grandson of Rachel Nampeyo, great-grandson of Annie Healing, and a great-great-grandson of Nampeyo of Hano.
Les blends and deconstructs traditional and historic designs in an amazingly modern style. His painting’s precision is undoubtedly a reflection of his learning to make pottery from his aunt, Dextra Quotskuyva, a master potter and world-renowned innovator. Les has won numerous awards for his pottery at the Santa Fe Indian Market, the Heard Museum Market, and other events. It has been featured in multiple books on Hopi and Pueblo art. He continues to be one of the dynamic innovators in Pueblo pottery!
Through his creative designs, textures, and materials, Les Namingha transforms and challenges Hopi and Pueblo pottery’s surface expectations. He is as much a painter as a potter, and his vessels rely on form, surface design, and color to reveal their ancient and modern artistic influences.
Les says, “Sometimes the painting goes with the flow of what’s in you. There’s not as much thought as in other pieces. That comes from my love of abstract art, where the process is the process. There are other works where there is much consideration that goes into it. Maybe I’m working on the under-structure design with painting first and then laying it aside for a bit. I’ll think about where to go next and see where the piece leads me. There is also solely relying on the teaching of the older Nampeyo-type designs. The process for me is trying to work with the color since the structure is already there. The question is what I’m going to do with it.