Spoke Gallery

MWP-022014SPOKE_BylandbySea_v3c copy

By Land, By Sea- Hidden Histories

April 5th to June 6th 2014

Reception: Saturday, April 5th 5 to 7pm

Gallery talk: Saturday, April 5th 7pm

Free Documentary Film Screening: Thursday, May 22nd, 7pm -16 Photographs at Ohrdruf by Matthew Nash

Save the Date: June 6th- Closing Reception 6:30pm and at 7pm A Conversation with

Artist & Gay Rights Activist Michela Griffo

Gallery Hours: Wed-Fri Noon to 5pm & Saturdays by appointment (email two days in advance for an appointment kbitetti@mwproductions.org)

Gallery and connected events are free and open to the public.

By Land or By Sea- Hidden Histories is a group show that features the recent and/or new work by Huaiyu Chou, Michela Griffo, Meredith Morten, Matthew Nash, Dave Ortega, Annee Spileos Scott, and Jamal Thorne.

This exhibition was inspired by Medicine Wheel’s project, The Tonnes, in Ireland that supports the post peace process dialog. This project “engages the residents of the area along the Foyle River on both sides of the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland….Such experiences are one way to build lasting changes in attitude, laying the groundwork for peaceful coexistence and productive social relations.”

More info on the Tonnes project: http://mwponline.org/wordpress/?page_id=668


All of the work in the By Land, By Sea investigates and/or is inspired by history. Some of the artists reference very specific points of history in their art work.  Several of  the art works in the show  highlight war or post war/conflict issues. It is important to note that some are declared /recognized wars, while others are unofficial wars and/or social change movements. All of the works underscore the often forgotten fact that all societies/civilizations are built on past ones. Many of the artists have a direct personal and/or family connection to the history they are referencing.  It is often these personal stories or connections that last in our hearts and minds and are passed down from generation to generation.

More info on the artists exhibiting:

Huaiyu Chou- http://blogs.bentley.edu/intheknow/2013/12/01/art-gallery-exhibition-huaiyu-chou-white-terror/

Michela Griffo-http://www.postroadmag.com/9/art/MichelaGriffo.phtml

Meredith Morten- http://www.hallspace.org/mMorten11.html

Matthew Nash- http://www.16photographs.com/

Dave Ortega- http://www.vivaortegacy.com/

Annee Spileos Scott- http://www.anneespileoscott.com/

Jamal Thorne- http://www.northeastern.edu/news/2012/05/thorne-mfa/




Preparing For Flight: Exploring Ritualistic Symbols in Basketball

January 18th to March 15th 2014

Opening Reception: Saturday, January 18th,

5 to 7pm.

Performance by the artist:  January 18th 6pm

Image courtesy of the artist:

Instructions for Flight #2, Sharpie on paper

10″x10 2013

The gallery, performance, gallery talk reception and connected events are all free and open to the public.

Gallery Hours: Wednesdays- Fridays from 12 to 5pm and Saturdays by appointment

(For a Saturday appointment- email please at least two days in advance: kbitetti@mwproductions.org).

Medicine Wheel’s Spoke Gallery is proud to present a solo show by Marlon Forrester: Preparing For Flight: Exploring Ritualistic Symbols in Basketball. Marlon is exhibiting new and recent work for this show in a variety of media. Some of the threads of investigation found in this new work are: black male identity, body as commodity, heroism, corporate sport industrial complex, structural racism, rituals, symbols, myths, and archetypes.

The word flight and its definitions are a key thread for this show:

1. the action or process of flying through the air. “an eagle in flight”

 synonyms: aviation, flying, air transport, aerial navigation, aeronautics

2. a group of creatures or objects flying together, in particular.

3. an act or instance of fleeing or running away; hasty departure.

Marlon states, “As a student, I was both an athlete and an artist. Thus, it isn’t only the black male body as symbol that interests me, but my own body and the impositions both history and the present make upon it. … Flow. Rhythm. Space are qualities found in my work and basketball. Their combined effect provides the perfect backdrop for the ambulatory bodies that populate my work. …..Bodies. Black bodies, male bodies, broken bodies, serve as the pillars atop which I attempt initiate a discourse on heroism. The black male body has been crafted into a warring body “under constant assault by history, by the market, and in the art world.” This highlights the paradoxical trope of a broken hero in order to make visible this multivalent assault. Concerned with the corporate use of the black body, or the body as logo, my paintings, mixed media, video reflect meditations on the exploitation implicit in the simultaneous apotheosis and fear of the muscular black figure in America. For me, phrases like “fast as a leopard,” used to describe contemporary heroes (sports stars), reassert animalistic monikers that served to describe African warriors as “wild or indigenous.” Emptied by historical manipulations and refilled by contemporary needs, in effect, the Black Hero is always a paradox bound to definitions not meant to include myself.” 


Marlon was born in Guyana, South America and moved to the U.S when he was three years old. He currently lives in Dorchester, MA and spent most of his “formative years” in that neighborhood of Boston. He holds a Masters in Fine Arts (painting/printmaking) from Yale and he has a BA from the School f Museum of Fine Arts Boston. He will be having a solo show in February 2014 entitled, Up in the Air, at the City of Boston Mayor’s Gallery.  In 2013 his work was included in the critically acclaimed group show entitled, Timehri Transitions: Expanding Concepts in Guyana Art at the Wilmer Jennings Gallery at Kenkeleba House in NYC. In 2012, he had a solo show at the National Center for African American Art and has shown his work locally in group shows at HallSpace, GASP, Samson Projects, MassArt, Bunker Hill Community College, and the New Art Center.



I. P. #6Conjure Bottle



523506_572551896113529_2093112969_nPhoto credits: Craig Bailey/Perspective Photo

September 21st to November 22nd, 2013

Opening Reception, Saturday, September 21st, 5 to 7pm

Gallery talk: Saturday, September 21st 7 pm

Save the Date: Wednesday, October 23rd 7pm  A conversation with Ifé Franklin and Jennifer Pustz, Member of the Royall House and Slave Quarters Board of Directors

(Medford, MA  http://www.royallhouse.org/)

The gallery, reception and connected events are all free and open to the public.

Spoke Gallery @Medicine Wheel Productions

110 K Street – 2nd floor, South Boston, MA 02127

(617) 268-6700www.mwproductions.org, Email: info@mwproductions.org

MBTA: Redline Broadway Stop- no 9 Bus to K St.


Gallery Hours: Wednesdays- Fridays from 12 to 5pm and Saturdays by appointment

(For a Saturday appointment- email please at least two days in advance: kbitetti@mwproductions.org).


Free and open to the public (gallery and all connected events)

Ifé Franklin’s Indigo Project provides a historical, artistic, and cultural context to the important cultural aspects of the life of the enslaved and the artistic production of Adire textile making. Components of her Indigo Project, sculptures, small installations, textiles and 2d works, will transform the Spoke Gallery. During the course of  the exhibition, the creation of a wooden structure resembling a slave cabin will occur. The structure will be completely covered inside and outside with Aso Adire (indigo textile) that was produced by a group of volunteers that the artist taught the traditional techniques of Adire from the Yoruba culture of Nigeria, West Africa. Medicine Wheel Production’s Spoke Gallery  is the first site it to show one of the cabins of this project.

For Ifé Franklin, this is a project that is a living testament honoring those who lived and died producing these two materials she works with closely- plantation grown cotton and indigo. She states, “I want to share this art with people that are interested in the history of enslavement and the collective healing that needs to take place to bring forth remembrance and reconciliation. Without forgetting the unspeakable violence and dehumanization the system of slavery perpetrated, I also want to look at their lives as larger than the tragic ugliness of their situation. I want us to see them as more than just slaves. I know that our ancestors shared a great love with one another in the ways that they could, for as long as time would allow, since they never knew just how much time they had with family members and friends. The Indigo Project challenges us to dare envision an experience of slavery where beauty and love were possible. Our ancestors simply would not have survived if they also had not loved and created beauty even in the most inhumane conditions. Theirs is the story of America, of Americans, a nation and its people.”


About Ifé

Ifé Franklin, who was born and raised in Washington D.C., lives and works in Roxbury. She is a teaching artist and an interdisciplinary artist who works in many mediums: drawing, collage, installation, sculpture, performance, photography, etc.  She also specializes in creating Aso Adire (indigo fabric), a traditional West African Art form. She holds a diploma from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts and  she recently had a solo show at the Uforge Gallery that featured some of the small sculptural and 2-d elements of the Indigo Project. She has had solo shows in Boston at the Center for Latino Arts and at the Dillaway Thomas House. Her work has been shown in group exhibitions at: New Art Center, Boston City Hall’s Scullay Square Gallery, Lillian Immig Gallery at Emmanuel College, the AAMARP Gallery, the Harbor Gallery at UMass Boston, the Cambridge Multicultural Art Center, and the Northampton Center for the Arts.

Special thanks to the Elliot House, the Royall House and Slave Quarters, Perspective Photo, and all the volunteers and collaborators who have helped to make this exhibition happen.

Image: Gracelynn D. Means’ Adire; Photo credits: Craig Bailey/Perspective Photo; Design credit: Tim Spruill Creative All other photos courtesy of  Craig Bailey/Perspective Photo



June 22nd to August 23rd 2013Reception: June 22nd 5 to 7pmGallery Talk: June 22nd 7pm02127/02210 is Medicine Wheel Productions’ annual summer exhibition featuring the artists who live and/or have their art practice based in the two zip codes of South Boston.This is the second annual 02127/02210 and it is featuring the work of ten outstanding artists: Ibrahim Ali-Salaam, Bill Frew, Nathan Fried-Lipski, Vanessa Irzyk, Jacob Kulin, Joyce McDaniel, Andrew Neumann, Sylvia Stagg-Giuliano, Claudia Ravaschiere, and Christine Vaillancourt.The annual’s inspiration comes from MWP’s 2011 photo exhibition entitled, Southie is My Home Town. It was a show of portraits of the diverse and amazing people who call South Boston their home. The images were taken by South Boston residents and Medicine Wheel affiliated photographers Richie Dismore and Brian McCarthy.The 2013 annual highlights the breathe of talent we are so lucky to have in our two zip codes. Many of the artists have exhibited locally, regionally and nationally. There is also a wide range of media in the show: charcoal drawings, color photography, sculpture, paintings, site specific installations, and silver point drawings. This is a show not to be missed.Medicine Wheel Productions (MWP) is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to transform communities from the inside out by inviting all members to participate in the healing and transcendent power of public art. MWP’s Spoke Gallery is an innovative new program that seeks to act as a hub for artists of all disciplines who want to join the conversation.Gallery Hours are Wednesdays-Fridays from 12 to 5pm and Saturdays* by appointment.For a Saturday appointment-email please at least two days in advance: kbitetti@mwproductions.org

About Spoke Gallery:

The medicine wheel, originating from a Native American tradition, is also referred to as Sacred Hoop. The medicine wheel represents the sacred circle of life, its basic four directions, and the elements. It is a symbol of balance, symmetry, healing, and oneness. “It teaches us that all lessons are equal, as are all talents and abilities. Every living creature will one day see and experience each spoke of the wheel and know those truths. The Medicine Wheel is a pathway to truth and peace and harmony. The circle is never ending, life without end.”

MWP’s philosophy and values are deeply entwined with that of the medicine wheel. We too believe that every person has talents and abilities to share with the world and that, through art, they can unlock them. By participating in the art—whether that’s creating the art, experiencing the art, or taking a cultural action in response to the art—we believe that community members are taken on a transformative journey that helps them gain a deeper understanding of themselves, of others, and the overall human condition. This is the phenomenon of art. It engages all people (the creator and observors) in dialogue and takes them to a place of endless possibilities.

Artists of all disciplines are interested in starting a new dialogue about the role of art in culture. Over the years, art has come to be seen as a commodity, not an essential part of everyday life. Art is so much more than that though—it helps individuals access the hidden world of thought, feeling, and meditation. It is a tool that draws humanity together, guiding people towards a greater understanding of self and the overall human condition.

MWP’s Spoke Gallery is an innovative new program that seeks to act as a hub for artists of all disciplines who want to join the conversation. We realize that many artists lack the networks, support, tools, and/or resources to progress the dialogue forward on their own. By creating a network and space dedicated to redefining the role of art in culture, we hope to provide a support system and home for artists, so that they can grow, learn, and put into practice this exciting and significant concept.

This program is supported in part by a grant from the Boston Cultural Council, a local agency which is funded by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, administrated by the Mayor’s Office of Arts, Tourism, and Special Events. It is also supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council.