Kia Ix Arriaga
Kia Ix Arriaga
Detroit, MI

Kiauitzin, little rain

Artist Statement
Kia Ix Arriaga was born in Cuernavaca Morelos, México. She graduated from Universidad del Sol in 1998, with a degree in Graphic Design and illustration. In 2000, Arriaga moved to Detroit, where she was offered a scholarship to attend Wayne State University and she is currently pursuing a BFA in metalsmithing and ceramics. Arriaga works as a Cultural Educator, Blacksmith, Ceramist and an Aztec Dancer. As a member of the Aztec dance group, Kalpulli Tlahuikayotl, Arriaga is helping to keep the traditions of Mexican Indigenous people alive.

Additionally, she is known for her art multi-media installations, which include techniques such as ceramics, drawing, traditional sand painting and metalwork. For the past 16 years, Arriaga has been installing Mexican Day of the Dead Ofrendas in the Detroit Metro area, in prestigious venues such as the Detroit Institute of Arts, and the Museum Of Contemporary Art Detroit. Arriaga is currently merging her skills as an Aztec dancer and Ofrenda installation artist to develop educational programs which will explore Aztec Culture, through performance, music, art making and storytelling.

Her work has been published in the book: Essay’d 2: 30 Detroit Artists by Wayne University Press.

The mural that Arriaga will create for ARTpath reflects her heritage as an Aztec Mexican and explores her roots and her connection to the land. The main image in the mural will be a young women (Kiauitzin), representing the element of rain nourishing the land (Koatlikue) resulting in the growth of flowers (Xochimeh) and food. Images representing glyphs and symbols of Aztec traditional culture and can be found in ancient codex, carvings and historical fresco mural paintings. The artist will add the names in Aztec, Spanish and English to assist in teaching some of the concepts of the Aztek culture to the audience.