To celebrate the opening of “Paper Stories, Layered Dreams: The Art of Ekua Holmes,” the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (MFA), is offering free general admission on Saturday, July 17 and Sunday, July 18, thanks to Citizens, the lead exhibition sponsor and a longstanding partner. Tickets will be available to reserve at 10 am on July 13.
A lifelong resident of Boston’s Roxbury neighborhood, Ekua Holmes (born 1955) is an artist and community activist whose body of work explores themes of childhood, family bonds, memory, and resilience. ‘Paper Stories, Layered Dreams: The Art of Ekua Holmes’ 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 and representation.
The more than 40 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 “Black Is a Rainbow Color” (2020) by Angela Joy. The exhibition also features a selection of Holmes’s luminous illustrations for the recently released book “Saving American Beach” (2021) by Heidi Tyline King—on view for the first time—as well as a selection of her independent work, including portrait installation pieces. Interpretive materials include a video interview with the artist and a group of wall texts written by teen participants in the MFA’s Curatorial Study Hall program.