Kijana Martin creates mixed media artworks and paintings using a variety of mediums including acrylics, pastels, and recyclable objects. She is a mostly self-taught artist who enjoys the ability to educate through art.
Kijana is intrigued by creating art that vividly expresses a story, touches on social concerns, and evokes emotion. What influences her most is her love and compassion for people. Her work is inspired by the human condition, usually thematic and multilayered to take the viewer on a personal journey with the desire to shed new meaning or light, and provide a fresh, relatable perspective. She feels a level of responsibility to humanity to open dialog concerning things that are hidden, taboo, or go unspoken because it is these things that have the greatest unconstructive impact on people.
“My work and art depicts my love and concern for people. As a young child, my father exposed me to community activism. That, along with my personal experiences has instilled a deep desire to contribute to educating and sharing the importance of sankofa – “going back to get it”; the knowledge, experience, and history to help heal oneself and others. Going forward, my art will continually shed light on the stigmas, taboos, or events that have a death grip on the progression and healing of humans.”
As an emerging artist, Kijana boldly tackled the spread of HIV/AIDS in the African-American community in her solo exhibition at South Dallas Cultural Center. Since then she has contributed more thought provoking artwork in other exhibitions.