Paper Stories, Layered Dreams
The Art of Ekua Holmes
A lifelong resident of Boston’s Roxbury neighborhood, Ekua Holmes (b. 1955) is an artist and community activist whose body of work explores themes of childhood, family bonds, memory, and resilience. This exhibition focuses on her award-winning children’s book illustrations—vibrant collages revealing stories of self-determination, love, and community that reflect the artist’s distinctive vision and commitment to Black imagery. The more than 30 works on view include original illustrations from Holmes’s published book projects: Voice of Freedom: Fannie Lou Hamer, Spirit of the Civil Rights Movement (2015) by Carole Boston Weatherford, Out of Wonder: Poems Celebrating Poets (2017) by Kwame Alexander, and the recently released Black Is a Rainbow Color (2020) by Angela Joy. The exhibition also offers a sneak peek at Holmes’s illustrations for the forthcoming projects Saving American Beach (2021) by Heidi Tyline King and Dream Street (2021), co-authored by Holmes and her cousin Tricia Elam Walker—as well as a selection of her independent work, including portrait installation pieces.
Additional support from Ailene M. Robinson and Thomas E. Lewis.