Sejla Holland didn’t want to mark the 20th anniversary of Bosnia’s independence in a way that would evoke images often associated with the small Balkan country: war, death, destruction, ethnic cleansing. Instead, Holland, who came to Everett in 1994 as a war refugee, wanted to highlight qualities of the Bosnian people often lost in news reports: creativity, artistry, talent, perseverance.
“I didn’t want to do something showing the war and destruction. People know about that. I wanted to do something with art, to show that something as disruptive as war couldn’t kill our creative spirit,” said Holland, who left Boston in 1998 for Southern California and in 2010 opened a Laguna Beach art gallery specializing in green and sustainable art.