Charlotte Street Foundation identifies the needs and fuels the evolution of an ever-changing multidisciplinary arts ecosystem, acting as its primary provocateur. We cultivate the contemporary, the exceptional, and the unexpected in the practice of artists working in and engaging with the Kansas City Art Community

Kiki Serna


kiki headshot

Aquetzali (Kiki) Serna is a Mexican visual artist living in Kansas City, Missouri. Kiki works within performance, painting, digital mixed media, and collage based practices. Since her time at the Kansas City Art Institute, she has worked on telling her, and her family’s immigration story – deciphering it for herself, and sharing it with others. Once undocumented, now part of the DACA program, Kiki craves to find healing, catharsis, and a voice through her creative art practice. Her pieces develop from her inner feelings of alienation, confusion, and fragmentation as an immigrant. Kiki combats these thoughts by using color to celebrate the empowering aspects of her immigrant history and experience. Using color as her ally, she relives bi-curiously through the passages she once walked as a child – The brightly colored buildings, the sweet tastes of fruit outside her great grandfather’s home, and the lively, populated streets.

Due to her immigration status, Kiki can’t return to Mexico, so she uses specific tools to guide her research; Stories from her parents, conversations with her family who still reside in Mexico, images from her relatives via social media, and other digital resources. This brings a question to thought – Which reality is most accurate? That which resides within the fragmented truth that these tools bring, a window to an ever changing Mexico in which she has never set foot – or simply that which derives from her diluted memories? She finds herself asking if either truth matters more, the original, or the manufactured – and if there is a home for her among it all.



Charlotte Street Foundation

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