James Garcia Nampeyo was born to Louis Garcia (of Laguna Pueblo) and Leah Polacca Garcia in 1958. That made him a great-grandson of Nampeyo of Hano and a nephew of Tom Polacca. He was encouraged by his grandmother, Fannie Nampeyo, to learn the art of traditional pottery making as he grew up and he began producing pottery for the marketplace in 1975.
Over the years he tried a few different styles and designs but he mostly preferred to stick with the styles and designs his great-grandmother made famous. For a while he was married to Eunice Navasie and after the divorce, he still collaborated with her sometimes in making larger pieces.
His favorite designs were eagletails, thunderbirds, feathers and clowns. James passed away in July, 2019.