Become Part of Our Common Path

47Our Common Path

As long as the memory of one endured, not a passenger went by

without adding a stone to the heap. To this monument there is a proverbial saying alluding to this old practice.     

Curri mi cloch er do charne. I will add a stone to your cairn, meaning when you are no more I will do all possible to honor your memory.


In August of 1996, three hundred South Bostonians joined me with a stone and a story of what connected them to South Boston to build a spiral circle on the once abandoned strip of land referred to as   ”No Man’s Land, “the Ressie” or ironically “Suicide Hill”

Two years later a group of young people in the midst of a suicide epidemic would come to me looking to build a public art piece to mark and honor their grief. That summer we constructed a Celtic cross set in stone on the slope of the hill and the families and friends of suicide victims came to, reflect, prayer and remember.

One of the things that really appealed to me about No Mans’ Land was that there was a trodden path that cut right though the space, a path that had been there for about 100 years.   People used this path, perhaps as a short cut or perhaps to explore the Urban Wild and enchantment of No Man’s Land.

In the spring of 2000 I was working with two young men who liked to play roles from Kung Fu. One would be the Zen master and one would be “Grasshopper”. All day long I would hear “Grasshopper you must…..”   One day one of the boys was missing and the other one and   I took on the roles. The assignment was to gather pebbles to put on the trodden path. The catch was that you had to kneel and collect only the pebbles you could reach without moving from your position until you had filled a 2 gallon bucket. I I was about half way to the top of my bucket and I was thinking I couldn’t do this! At that very moment the young man started to tell me his life story, how his father had been in  an accident. How he was expelled from school, about his first kiss,  about his hopes, about his dreams, about his fears. I was being given a gift that would change my life forever. He talked to me for 5 hours! As we left that day we looked back and saw that we had laid 20 feet of pebble path. Neither one of us remembered filling our buckets.


Since that time thousands of young people have worked for us at Medicine Wheel, finding themselves in the creative process. Last year the Edward Ingersoll Browne Fund awarded Medicine Wheel with a grant to install an accessible to all path connecting the Boston National Historical Park with two gates and a paved path with access to people with all forms of mobility.

We would like to line that path with engraved bricks of our common hopes, dreams prayers and memories. Our goal is 600 bricks. Due to a matching gift for our youth employment program, when you buy a brick we are also able to engrave a brick with the name of one of the courageous young people who has worked at Medicine Wheel.

Learn about the Browne Fund

Your determination in bringing this project to fruition is a shining  example of the type of spirit and professional pride that Mr. Browne  sough to instill in Boston’s citizens when he established his bequest.  We  are honored to assist you in this endeavor.

Commissioners of the Edward Ingersoll Browne Fund 

City of Boston 

buy a brick here

Spoke Gallery Earth to Heaven

Earth to Heaven


Earth to Heaven

September 20 to November 21, 2014

Opening Reception: Saturday, September 20, 5 to 7pm

Gallery Talk: Saturday, September 20, 5 to 7pm

Performance: Saturday, Sept. 20,  7:30pm- Doñagdeo*: Mapping the Unseen- created by Basil El Halwagy & performed by Wendy Jehlen

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

(For a Saturday appointment-email please at least two days in advance:

Gallery and connected events are free and open to the public

The group exhibition, Earth to Heaven, investigates several big/timeless questions individuals, civilizations and societies have been asking for centuries:

Where do we come from? Is there an afterlife? Are we alone in the universe? How do we grieve for, remember and/or honor those we have lost? 

One of the main inspirations for this exhibition is Medicine Wheel’s annual installation and 24 hour vigil held since 1992 on Dec 1st- World AIDS Day. The 36 portable shrines, currently installed in a grid outside the gallery’s doors, are what first greets visitors to  this exhibition and by extension to Medicine Wheel.

The featured visual artists (in alphabetical order): Basil El Halwagy, Jesseca Ferguson, Claes Gabriel, Katina Spileos Hayward, Robin Shores, Susan Thompson, Kurt Tong, Dorothea Van Camp, and Ann Wesssmann.

The art work on display ranges from installation, video, sculpture, painting, printmaking, mixed media, performance*,  photography, textiles, to artist books and many of the artists in Earth to Heaven have shown their work nationally and/or internationally.

*Doñagdeo: Mapping the Unseen uses dance and visual art to explore how humans probe the impenetrable and diagram the unseen. This performance draws inspiration from 19th century astronomer Caroline Herschel (1750 – 1848), and 8th century Syfu Mystic Rabaa Al Adawaya. Doñagdeo is the avatar of transformation. Through this fictional character, and guided by the stories of Rabaa and Herscel, Basil El Halwagy and Wendy Jehlen explore how one’s self transforms as they peruse the unseen, whether within or without.


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  program that seeks to act as a hub for artists of all disciplines who want to join the conversation.

MWP receives funding from the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency and 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.