Renferd Koruh is half Hopi and half Tewa from Polacca, Arizona. He was born in Keams Canyon, Arizona in 1984. Koruh’s father is Hopi from the village of Mishongnovi, located on Second Mesa. His mother is Tewa from the village of Hano, located on First Mesa. He was born into the Tobacco clan of his mother and is the child of the Spider clan of his father. Coming from family of five, Renferd is the fourth child. His passion for art is far-reaching stemming from his youth when he fondly observed family members carving and creating pieces that would inspire him for years to come. Koruh began to create his own carvings at the age of ten and has been doing so ever since. Doing so is one way he can convey meaning, stories, and tradition to younger generations who can value the knowledge and express it in their own way. Graduating from the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico in the Fall of 2005 with his Associates Degree in Studio Arts, Koruh plans on continuing his artistic education through further exploration of the field and of the dynamic cultural valuation his peers bring to the table in up and coming pieces. Equally as important for Koruh is his aim to use experiential knowledge and that learned at school for the benefit of Native youth on the reservation through guidance and support. Koruh truly believes that the art created is for the community as much as for the individuals immersed in the art market. For him, positive and spiritual energy is created and resides in every piece. Through this creative process, protection is also created for his community and all people in this world.
For as long as I can remember, I have always wanted to be an artist. Coming from a large family and a community of artists, I was heavily influenced by a wide variety of artistic abilities and intense dedication driven mainly by cultural continuity. Stories and deep meanings were always passed down through oral tradition while the artwork itself was being created. The meaning in the actual designs were always related back to nature and our understanding grew beyond what we were making with our hands and extended to our understanding of what was all around us. I learned purely through observation. It was so amazing to watch my brother and uncles carve their Katsina dolls. The artistic possibilities for a young learning sculptor seemed endless and I felt that as a result, the only option was art school. I knew, however, that what I was doing went beyond simply learning techniques in a scholastic setting. I was taking a piece of Mother Nature, imagining possibilities, and transforming it into a beautiful piece of Hopi art. This process for me has always been breathtaking. Creating Hopi art is one way I can enrich tribal traditions. One of those traditions is the utilization Katsina dolls as teaching instruments for young Hopi children. To reflect that educational aspect, through my artwork I hope to educate a wider audience on the Hopi way of life. I create art to better myself as a young Native American artist, carry on my traditions, and represent all Native people’s in a positive way.
Hopi Creations by Renferd Koruh @HopiCreations.byRenferdKoruh.