Ekua Holmes: A Boston Artist Uses Collage To Depict Everyday Life In Roxbury

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Ekua Holmes is a lifelong Boston resident and collage artist. In her work, Holmes takes unexpected items, and creates images that reflect the community she grew up in. And like the unexpected items that Holmes uses to create her art, the works themselves often hang in unexpected place: her current work is displayed at the J.P. Licks store in Jamaica Plain.

"Part of our job," says Holmes, "is to take things that people walk by every day, and don't notice, and bring them to the forefront and make you notice them."

Holmes works in collage, and she says this requires her to collect lots of fragmented things: pieces of fabric, bits of paper and even sugar packets.

Holmes says that even though it's unlikely her granddaughter will ever hang laundry on a clothes line, one of the reasons she created the piece, "Mrs. Jones," was she wants to share the experience of being in the backyard with her mother with future generations.

The every day life of African-Americans, notes Holmes, is not always depicted in art or on TV.

"If you were to read the newspapers, you know, you would think that the African-American community is just one big source of problems," she says. "And that has not been my experience. I know that those statistical realities exist, however, there are a lot of things that don't really get shared in the media. And those are the things that I want to talk about because it's not just about what's wrong, it's about what's right."

This segment aired on May 22, 2012.


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