The American artist and illustrator Ekua Holmes, born in 1955, grew up in Boston in a small, peaceful neighborhood called Roxbury. While attending classes at her high school, and later the Massachusetts College of Art and Design, Holmes was struck by the lack of Black imagery—especially positive Black imagery—in her classes and in everyday life. She decided to fill the void. Holmes created collages of family and community. She did nature scenes and city scenes, men, women, and children standing proud in brilliant flashes of color. In 2013, Holmes received the NAACP Image Award, and in 2018, the Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award. At the MFA, 30 works from this acclaimed artist’s children’s books are on view. —E.C.
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