Born 1970, Queretaro (Mexico)

Alfonso "Piloto" Nieves Ruiz is a self-taught artist who was born in Querétaro, México. When Piloto was ten, he moved from his impoverished barrio to the outskirts of the city and witnessed how the mass urbanization of Mexico was swallowing the small pueblos that surrounded its cities. 

Piloto moved to Chicago at the age of 21. Although he made art throughout his childhood and youth, it was when he turned 24 that he started to dedicate his time to the world of art. Feeling the clay on his hands connected him to his childhood, to the river, to the dump, to the hungry factories, to the hungry people, to the poor rich people, to his roots, to the earth, to the water, to the mud.

He has displayed his art in many venues, including the National Museum of Mexican Art, the lawn of the Field Museum, Navy Pier, 33 Contemporary Gallery, Garfield Park Conservatory, CU Museum of Natural History and the Boulder Public Library. Alfonso "Piloto" Nieves is perhaps best known for his work with the community. He has given art workshops focused on immigration, social justice and ecology at Casa Guanajuato, Casa Aztlán, Yollocalli, UIC, University of Colorado Museum of Natural History, as well as many different community centers and schools around the city and suburbs.

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