Medicine Wheel


Medicine Wheel Vigil – Day With(Out) Art -World AIDS Day












Call to Artists

December 1, 2017 24 hour Vigil!

Medicine Wheel is an epic work of art created by Michael Dowling, Artistic Director of Medicine Wheel Productions.       Produced annually since 1992 in conjunction with World AIDS Day/ A Day With(Out) Art, “Medicine Wheel,”   a 24-hour vigil with a major sculptural art installation, brings people from every walk of life and every social class together to commemorate the tragedy of the AIDS epidemic, or any loss, in their own communities and worldwide. The primary visual component is the wheel itself: thirty-six pedestals and portable shrines arranged in a circle.

Dowling developed Medicine Wheel to be a part of A Day Without Art, the visual arts community’s annual response to the   AIDS crisis that flowered in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s in New York City and other artistic centers. While most activities  associated with A Day Without Art no longer take place, Medicine Wheel has grown in importance as Boston’s largest  annual observation of World AIDS Day.  Each year the installation is based around a different element: fire, water, earth or air.  This 26th  incarnation of the Medicine Wheel is an AIR year and will focus on the power of art to heal, nurture, and transform.

As in years past, all are invited to leave personal mementos such as jewelry, letters, poems, photos and other items in Medicine Wheel.  Objects left are placed within the Wheel’s pedestals at the conclusion of the vigil, joining those left in previous years.

Medicine Wheel  Thursday November 30, doors open at 11:00 pm and for the full 24-hours of Friday  December 1.

For more information about this year’s installation, please contact Michael Dowling at or 617.268.6700 x11.


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Last year, to honor 25 years, Julie Burros Chief of Arts and Culture for the City of Boston, lit City Hall red to honor Day Without Art/World AIDS Day and 25 years of  Medicine Wheel’s  response to  AIDS/HIV and to the power of art to create space for healing and remembrance.  Over 300 Visual Artists and 150 performing artists gathered to amplify that power in a moving 24 hour vigil held at the Boston Center for the Arts. For more photos click here




 click here for more photos of past years



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