Artist of Color; Black/African American; Ethnic Art; Visual Arts: Functional and/or Decorative, Illustration, Painting, Photography
Kiana Renee Ricks (Kee-Auna Reh-Nay Riks) goes by Ki; the creator of Ki Re Abstracts, LLC. A gifted artist out of Indianapolis, Indiana. She first fell in love with art at the tender age of 8. She was first introduced to sketch drawings by her late brother, Wilson L. Ricks II, who took time to teach the young Ki the basics of art.
“Yeah, my brother was the best! He would draw Superman, Scooby-Doo crew, and Run DMC (a well known 80’s hip-hop group),” she laughed. “I learned a lot of things from him.”
Ki Ricks attended IPS #106 where her crafty abilities were nourished by a stellar teacher named Gloria Jones. “Ms. Jones truly took me under her wing and encouraged full expression through my creative characteristics.”
Every summer, Ki Ricks was entered into the 4-H contest held at the Indiana State Fair, placing 1st and 2nd place in nearly every competition. By the 6th grade, Ki was accepted into the Shortridge Middle School magnet program for visual arts. There she studied various artistic mediums such as drawing, painting, sculpture, crafts, printmaking, and photography.
“Although I studied all techniques, soulful abstracts have always been my preference. In fact, one of my illustrations won a school contest! My work was hung on display and remained there years after I graduated.”
In 1992, Ki Ricks painted an exhibit for Indiana Health Department. It was displayed at Indianapolis Black Expo. She continued to take art classes throughout High School, but later took a 20 year hiatus after entering the United States Navy. “I just wanted to express myself differently in my early adult life. I think we all go through that in life. You know? I felt it was time to focus on my second love, poetry.”
With things being what they were, she assumed the pseudonym, “Kesha Poetrynmotion.” The then very shy spoken word artist emerged on the local scene doing open mics, openings for showcases, and fashion shows. She also recorded a CD and was featured on song tracks. “That was a very liberating period for me. Not only was I sharing my words with the world, but I was actually being heard.”
Today, Ki Ricks, is getting back to her roots and first love, visual arts. She is presently using her gifts to launch Ki Re Abstracts, LLC, a company that is geared toward one’s appeasement of unique, distinctive, and stimulating fancy.