#MixxArt: Ekua Holmes Creates Selma Doodle for Google

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2015’s MLK Google doodle features the work of painter and collage artist Ekua Holmes — marking her first Google debut. The doodle features a group of great Civil Rights activists, all banding together as they are led by Dr. King while collectively protesting across Alabama’s Edmund Pettus bridge — the site of Dr. King’s iconic march for freedom from Selma to Montgomery.


As read on her website, Ekua Holmes is a painter and collage artist who uses news clippings, photographs, vibrant color and skillful composition to infuse her work with energy. Her layered, abstract creations convey a sense of unity and evoke memories that are both personal and universal. Many of her pieces are based off her upbringing in Washington Park neighborhood in Roxbury, MA, located in Boston. King studied at Boston University in the early 1950s–only a few blocks from where Holmes’s studio is currently and he also preached at Roxbury’s Twelfth Baptist Church, which Holmes visits from often.

Google Doodles are one highly accessible form of art. They surface randomly and can be animated, interactive, video, or static, like Holmes’s collage. Traffic to the Google page is typically in the millions so for an artist to have their peace featured on the search engine can be one of the greatest forms of publicity.

“It’s pretty astronomical [and] jaw-dropping,” said Ryan Germick, who leads Google’s Doodle-making team.

Germick found Holmes through the internet by change, he said, and put her on his “running list of dream collaborators.” As Martin Luther King Jr. Day approached, he reached out to her.

“We thought she would be wonderful,” he said. “Her work has a universal quality and is really colorful and vibrant.”

Holmes is honored for the opportunity to showcase her talent.

“It’s very cool to think of representing him on his special day,” she said of King. “It will be a different thing to get up on the 19th and type in Google.com.”

On her website in her About Me section, Holmes shares her motivation behind her art.

“My goal is that the exploration of the very personal vision enriches and completes a wide social context, while playing with the tension between the very flat medium of collage and an articulated sense of depth.”

It’s safe to say, Holmes made a giant leap towards that goal today.

To see more of Ekua Holmes’ work visit her website.

Help from The Boston Globe.

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