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Wishing Well: Cicely Carew’s Installation Addresses Mental Health in the BIPOC Community for Be the Change Boston 2023

By Jewish Arts Collaborative

Published Jul 25, 2023

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Collection

This Curation is part of Be the Change.

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Wishing Well

Above: Artist Cicely Carew alongside her piece Wishing Well on view in the Fenway neighborhood of Boston, August 2023.

 

How can we allow space for BIPOC, especially black women, to feel safe, seen, and heard?

 

TAKE ACTION:

Connect with organizations and available resources:

 

ARTIST STATEMENT:

This interactive sculpture draws from sacred geometric healing, particularly the pyramid, offering a serene space for self-presence. It tackles mental health and ancestral trauma, highlighting the luxury of healing time and the mask of struggles, notably for BIPOC women. Visitors can meditate on heartfelt prayers, fostering love, lightening burdens, and casting wishes into a life-size Jewish Tzedakah. This shared act of healing reinforces the interconnectedness of support and growth.

 

ABOUT THE ARTIST:

Cicely Carew’s multimedia works comprise a self-sustaining ecosystem of possibility. With rebellious mark-making, vibrant color, and sweeping gestures, Carew captures the momentary magic of her process of building enduring spaces of radical joy and liberation. Carew’s experiences as a mother, wellness coach, and nature-lover are evident, as she rejects the neutrality of abstraction in favor of work that is both personal and universal. Carew has mounted solo exhibitions at The Commons Provincetown (2021), Simmons University (2020), and Northeastern University (2017). In 2021, Boston Properties and Now + There, Inc. commissioned Carew to create Ambrosia, a 5,000 sq. ft. site-specific installation that unfolded throughout Boston’s iconic Prudential Center.

She is an educator — she often devises meditation and sound healing experiences and workshops to run alongside her exhibitions. Carew served as Artist in Residence at Shady Hill School, taught mixed media and printmaking for the New Art Center in Newton, Maud Morgan Arts in Cambridge, and screenprinting for Lesley University. She recently debuted her first solo exhibition, Quantum Sanctuary, at the Fitchburg Art Museum in the fall of 2022. The ICA of Boston awarded her the 2023 James and Audrey Foster Prize. The exhibition opens on August 24, 2023. Carew currently resides with her son in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

 

LEARN MORE about Be the Change.

 

👁️ Look above to watch 4 videos with Be the Change Global Ambassador Rabbi Menachem Creditor (Pearl and Ira Meyer Scholar-in-Residence at UJA-Federation New York; founder of Rabbis Against Gun Violence,) former President of American Jewish World Service and Co-Chair of Be the Change Global Ambassadors Ruth Messinger, and artist Cicely Carew. 

Be the Change Walking Tour: Cicely Carew

(3 min) Listen to Cicely Carew describe her piece for the Be the Change Walking Tour.

The Partner for this piece is McLean Hospital and the artist encourages digital engagement by checking out resources under “TAKING ACTION” and in-person engagement through offering a prayer.

 

LOCATION: 

Located next to the parking garage near the intersection of Kilmarnock St and Van Ness St, across from MiniLuxe.

 

Find it in the Fenway! Click here to see the full Be the Change Boston 2023 map.

 

NEXT UP:

Free to Learn by Ruth K. Henry

In Other Eyes by Wen-hao Tien

Searching for Home by Chanel Thervil

The Power of the Vote by Dana Woulfe

Transcending Borders by Julia Csekö

I Am My Sister’s Keeper by Caron Tabb

 

👁️ Look above to watch 4 videos with Be the Change Global Ambassador Rabbi Menachem Creditor (Pearl and Ira Meyer Scholar-in-Residence at UJA-Federation New York; founder of Rabbis Against Gun Violence,) former President of American Jewish World Service and Co-Chair of Be the Change Global Ambassadors Ruth Messinger, and artist Cicely Carew. 

Wishing Well

(4 min) Award-winning artist of Cicely Crew joins former President and CEO of American Jewish World Service Ruth Messinger and Be the Change Global Ambassador Rabbi Menachem Creditor (Pearl and Ira Meyer Scholar-in-Residence at UJA-Federation New York; founder of Rabbis Against Gun Violence) to discuss the invisible barriers Black women face when seeking health care and what motivated her to create Wishing Well.

The Meaning of Community

(3 min) Be the Change Global Ambassador Rabbi Menachem Creditor (Pearl and Ira Meyer Scholar-in-Residence at UJA-Federation New York; founder of Rabbis Against Gun Violence) and artist Cicely Carew discuss local/global community and the personal/public/systemic in context with her piece Wishing Well.

Mikveh

(3 min) Former President and CEO of American Jewish World Service Ruth Messinger and Be the Change Global Ambassador Rabbi Menachem Creditor (Pearl and Ira Meyer Scholar-in-Residence at UJA-Federation New York; founder of Rabbis Against Gun Violence) talk about the Jewish themes and imagery, such as the mikveh, resonant in Cicely Carew’s Wishing Well.

Rabbi Menachem Creditor Performs "Olam Chesed Yibaneh"

Concluding the conversation with artist Cicely Carew and former President and CEO of American Jewish World Service Ruth Messinger for Be the Change Boston 2023, Rabbi Menachem Creditor performs “Olam Chesed Yibaneh” for the world to come.

 

Olam Chesed Yibaneh 

Text: Psalm 89:3 

Music and English by Rabbi Menachem Creditor 

 

עוָֹלם ֶחֶסד יִָבּנֶה 

Olam chesed yibaneh…yai dai dai 

Olam chesed yibaneh…yai dai dai 

Olam chesed yibaneh…yai dai dai 

Olam chesed yibaneh…yai dai dai 

I will build this world from love…yai dai dai 

And you must build this world from love…yai dai dai 

And if we build this world from love…yai dai dai 

Then God will build this world from love…yai dai dai

 

Rabbi Menachem Creditor serves as the Pearl and Ira Meyer Scholar-in-Residence at UJA-Federation New York and was the founder of Rabbis Against Gun Violence. A frequent speaker in communities and campuses around the United States and Israel with over 1 million views of his online videos and essays, he was named by Newsweek as one of the fifty most influential rabbis in America. His 21 books and six albums of original music include the global Jewish anthem “Olam Chesed Yibaneh” and the Rabbis Against Gun Violence anthology “None Shall Make Them Afraid.”

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JArts’ mission is to curate, celebrate, and build community around the diverse world of Jewish arts, culture, and creative expression. Our vision is of a more connected, engaged, and tolerant world inspired by Jewish arts and culture. Learn more at jartsboston.org.

Reflections

1

The sculpture draws inspiration from sacred geometric healing and provides a space for individuals to sit, be present, and deposit notes of encouragement. How can this act of sharing meditative notes contribute to spreading love and releasing burdens?

2

In what ways do you think this sculpture raises awareness about the unique mental health struggles faced by BIPOC communities?

3

The sculpture incorporates the concept of tzedakah, a charitable act that benefits both the giver and the receiver. How does this artwork element symbolize the interconnectedness of healing within communities? How might casting wishes, prayers, or releasing burdens contribute to the healing process on an individual and collective level?

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