Kiayani Douglas was born to Vincent Douglas and Stacy Greer, split by both her parents Douglas is the oldest of 5 by at least 9 years and was born a leader in her own right. Douglas always knew that she had different privileges, her mother being a victim of a drunk driving accident at the age of 21, allowed her mother stay home and not work, but still being able to afford the things needed in the first world like cable lights and food on the table. Douglas didn’t understand why those same “privileges” defined her as a black child and why it was hard to relate and find her place in predominantly white culture. She always had a love for drawing and community building from a young child, she’s always been apart of a lot of first opportunities, in her community making her a leader in many ways. She is currently part of a first cohort in a MFA program based in regenerative culture at the University of Hartford, Where she has the experience of attending lectures and getting feedback from a wide spectrum of artist.
Douglas always loved art and teaching herself and her teddy bears at a young age new disciplines, she has fond memories of her father sending her crochet sweaters and portraits from jail as he was a victim of the War on Drugs. There was a time when Douglas was getting ready to apply to art school where her mother asked her why she was not making more “black art”. Having a father that was incarcerated but still preaching the word of Marcus Garvey and the Black Panthers behind bars and a mother who raised her children with the assistant of the state made her hate what that meant to her at the time. After reflection and experience as an adult she is using her own mediums and life experiences to understand what black means to her in retrospect to her place in society. It’s important to Douglas that she create a visual representation of what that means for black children around the world.
Douglas took the opportunity to minor in painting and major and ceramics informing her process and her work in very exciting ways. As a ceramic artist Douglas still finds it easy to work big including layered mediums and concepts and physically filling the space. Her past work has been more of an investigation of material rather than being overly conceptual and she believes that time “‘investigating materials” have given her a wealth of resources to inform her conceptual work that she is doing now.