Na Na Ping (Michael Garcia) – Pascua Yaqui
Na Na Ping was born in 1952 at the Pascua Yaqui village of Guadalupe just out side of Tempe Arizona where he remains a registered member. After receiving a business degree from Arizona State university,inspired by his uncles lapidary work, he began his career in jewelry. Developing his skills over time, he began experimenting with cutting edge inlay using a wide range of semi precious stones such as turquoise, varascite, sugilite, jade and many others. His fame developed from his unusual ability to combine many complex cuts into a mosaic of color onto a wide and heavy sterling silver shank. This mosaic extends to the edge of the piece of jewelry, giving it a feel of floating atop without the sterling silver appearing in the field of the piece, much like you feel on the edge of an infinity pool.
After meeting his wife, a Nambe pueblo woman, her grandfather in a ceremony gave him the name Na Na Ping, the Tewa word meaning Aspen Mountain. Today, Na Na Ping teaches jewelry design at the Poeh arts school in Pojaque Pueblo north of Santa Fe, New Mexico. He is the past president of the Indian Arts and Crafts Association based in Albuquerque, New Mexico and has served as Vice President of the prestigious Southwestern Association for Indian Arts. He is the recipient of the SWAIA Arlene Feddes fellowship award that recognizes excellence in Native American Art. He has won first prizes for jewelry in every major show throughout the southwest as well as internationally in Japan, Germany and Australia.
His pieces are shown at major museums, among them, the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington DC and New York, Museum of Northern Arizona, Heard Museum, Indian Pueblo Cultural Center and the Eiteljorg Museum of Germany.
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