The Roxbury Sunflower Project

The Roxbury Sunflower Project is a community-wide, collaborative initiative by artist Ekua Holmes that aims to bring nature, beauty, and color to Roxbury in unloved and un-cared for lots or in private gardens and yards by inviting families, organizations, and agencies to plant 20,000 sunflowers in the Roxbury neighborhood in the summer of 2018.

At the culmination of the project, Holmes created and installed new works of art reflecting the six themes of the project — radiance, resilience, beauty, deeply rooted, seeds of love and follow the sun — in the windows of the Freedom House at 5 Crawford Street, Dorchester.

The Sunflower was chosen for the planting as a symbolic representation of modern Roxbury, its people and history. Sunflowers follow the rays of the sun. They can grow on rugged terrain under less than perfect circumstances. They can survive with little attention or water. They are resilient, and hearty, and they are spectacles of great beauty and generosity.

The Roxbury Sunflower Project was inspired by Holmes’ love for Roxbury and by the generation of men and women who opened doors for her as a young artist. The project is Holmes’ attempt to emulate their generosity, creativity, and collective strength. Follow the progress of the project on Tumblr and Instagram.


About the Artist

Ekua currently serves as the Assistant Director at the Center for Art and Community Partnerships at Massachusetts College of Art and Design and Director of sparc! the ArtMobile, MassArt's art-inspiring, art-transforming vehicle retrofitted to create and contribute to community based, multidisciplinary arts programming currently focused in Mission Hill, Roxbury, and Dorchester MA. Learn more about Ekua.