SPOKE Gallery


Spoke Gallery is honored to present, CRUCIALESQUE, a solo show by acclaimed artist Domingo Barreres. For this exhibition, he is showing five new works that he has created for this exhibition along with one large scale mural that has only been publicly shown once. 

From the Monastery

New works by:

Michael Dowling
John Engstrom
Phoebe Flemming
Fiona Horning
Joseph Horning
Joanne Kaliontzis
Michelle Mendez

George Summers Jr.
John Provenzano
Karen Provenzano
Raymond Rodriguez
Amy Jean Romero
Michael Wonson
Crispin Wood

Italy Show

July 12 – August 15, 2023
Reception: Wednesday, July 12th

6:00 to 8:00pm

Please visit www.spokeart.org For Spoke gallery hours, and for information about free events in conjunction with the exhibition.

SPOKE Gallery
844 Summer Street
Boston, MA 02127

Mass Cultural Council


May 15th to June 30th 2023


New works on paper by Michela Griffo

Reception: Thursday, May 25th 6:00 to 8:00pm

Hybrid Gallery Talk (Zoom & in-person): Thursday, May 25th 6:30-7:00pm 

Gallery Hours: Wednesday-Friday 12 to 5pm & Saturdays by appointment
(For a Saturday appointment- please email at least  two days in advance: [email protected])

Spoke address: 844 Summer Street, Boston MA 02127

Spoke Gallery is honored to present the first solo exhibition in Massachusetts by acclaimed artist and activist Michela Griffo. For her exhibition entitled OUTRAGE, Griffo is showing new and recent small works on paper that she refers to as “Observations”.  She has also exhibiting four drawings on paper from an on-going series that draws upon well-known imagery from Disney animated fairy tales. 

Since the early 1980’s, Michela Griffo has been creating impeccable drawings and paintings based in a realist figurative tradition that echo the political and layered meanings found in history painting, historical portraiture painting and in contemporary comic book genre. Her works offer biting commentary on the reality that society has chosen to construct and believe, while at the same time calling attention to the so called truth or the actual reality that society as a whole avoids acknowledging.

This is not the first time Griffo’s work has been shown in Spoke Gallery. Griffo’s work was included in a Spring 2014 Spoke Gallery group show, By Land or By Sea- Hidden Histories.  All of the work in the By Land or By Seainvestigated and/or was inspired by history. Some of the artists referenced very specific points of history in their art work. Several of the art works in the show highlighted war or post war/conflict issues. Many of the artists had a direct personal and/or family connection to the history they were referencing. It is often these personal stories or connections that last in our hearts and minds and are passed down from generation to generation. Griffo for this show, shared work from her series of small scale pen and ink watercolors entitled, The Secret History of Homosexuals, that examined external and internal homophobia.

All of her works in this exhibition draw from her personal journey.  Her art works in her words,“are about the personal and political notions that sabotage real life while we are not looking.”

She further shares, “The works shown are directly related to my life. I am a mid-seventy year old lesbian, lifelong LGBTQ+ activist/SJW beginning with The Redstockings in 1969 and The Gay Liberation Front, Lavender Menace and RadicaLesbians in 1970-; and currently with The Generations Project.

I grew up in a violent, sexually abusive, alcoholic home and battled drug addiction and alcoholism until my mid-thirties. In 2002; 18 years sober I began my current art practice. The works submitted are “observations”…some based on my childhood, some from news articles but mostly from my conviction that there are truths which many people choose to ignore.

The two biggest influences on my work were:

Seeing the movie Bambi as a child. I was terrified that this type of violence existed and could be so cruel as to kill an innocent animal’s mother, and was presented as a “children’s film”. I had nightmares for weeks. I was not entertained by this film. The same for “Fantasia.”

The second influence was seeing “The Diary of Anne Frank” on Broadway as a very young girl. When it was over I was very upset and asked my mother “how could anyone make up a story about horrible people called Nazis who hunted and killed Jewish families by putting them in ovens.” When my mother told me it was not fiction, BUT true, it left a horrifying and lasting impression on me.

There are two sections to the work you are seeing. One is based on a series of paintings I began in 2003, using Disney imagery for the contradictions of fantasy with actual life; i.e. “Someday your Prince will come, take you away from an abusive situation, and your life will be beyond your wildest dreams (Cinderella)” or the gender question regarding Peter Pan who has never been portrayed by a man or even a young boy, but always by a woman. They are all color pencil on paper and done between 2009-2020.

The four drawings in this show are:

“Snow White Comes Out”

“Peter Pan”

“Cinderella Tells the Truth”

“Adorable Distractions from Violence and Abuse”

The largest section presented are Watercolor drawings begun in 2018 and continuing to the present. I call them “Observations” as they are daily observations from the newspaper; and sometimes from snippets of conversations I hear on the subway or in the grocery store. Like the Nazis killing Jews, none of this is fiction…it is all true.”

About Michela Griffo:

Michela Griffo (b.1949) is an artist and activist who came of age in New York City in the 1950s and 60s. Griffo studied at the University of Michigan, but ultimately established herself as a New York based artist after graduating from Pratt Institute with a Master’s in photography and a Minor in Painting. Griffo was an early member of the Redstockings and a founding member of the Radicalesbians, Lavender Menace and the Gay Liberation Front. Michela risked her life with other queer and lesbian activists on the front lines of the Gay Rights Movement paving the way for younger generations to come out and live safe and productive lives. 

Griffo exhibited widely in the early 1970s and has been included in several queer art shows, such as the traveling group exhibition Art After Stonewall: 1969-1989by Leslie-Lohman Museum (2019-2020) and QUEER FORMS, Katherine Nash Gallery, Minneapolis, MN, (September 2019).She most recently had a solo show, Michela Griffo: The Price We Pay(October 13th– December 17th, 2022)in NYC at Pen and Brush “that brought together both her large-scale paintings and small-scale watercolor for the first time.”  Her paintings were also included in a 2005 group show, Pretty Sweet, at the DeCordova Museum and Sculpture Park that was curated by Nick Capasso.

Links and interviews with Michela Griffo:

Address Project interview: https://addressesproject.com/memory/michela-griffo

Art News March 19, 2019 Stonewall at 50: https://www.artnews.com/art-news/artists/stonewall-at-50-a-roundtable-with-vaginal-davis-michela-griffo-and-jonathan-weinberg-12161/


Reception: Thursday, May 25th 6:00 to 8:00pm

Hybrid Gallery Talk (Zoom & in-person): Wednesday, June 7th 6:00-8:00pm 

Gallery Hours: Wednesday-Friday 12 to 5pm & Saturdays by appointment
(For a Saturday appointment- please email at least  two days in advance: [email protected])

Spoke address: 844 Summer Street, Boston MA 02127

Peter Ansin, a former manager of business development for Twentieth Century Fox, died of AIDS at 34 in 1992. The Ansin Building in Boston is the largest facility ever constructed by an organization with a specific mission to serve the LGBT community. It was dedicated in memory of Peter Ansin. His photograph (Fig. 7) of the ACT UP demonstration at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), outside Washington, DC, on October 11, 1988, shows street performance at its best. The demonstration closed down the FDA to protest the slow process of drug approval. They argued that because HIV was an incurable disease, new drugs should be reviewed as quickly as possible. After countless protests, the FDA eventually streamlined the review process for key HIV medications, including AZT, and within a few years introduced rules to fast-track approval for drugs. See his work on the back wall.

How Artists use art to fight pandemics: Abe Rybeck, Jay Critchley, Mikki Ansin & Michael Dowling

Act Up protesters Peter Ansin
ROCKVILLE, MD – OCTOBER, 1988: ACT UP protesters close the Federal Drug Administration building to demand the release of experimental medication for those living with HIV/AIDS. Their slogans read: “Silence=Death.” The demonstration was held outside the FDA headquarters in Rockville, Maryland on October 11, 1988. (Photo by Peter Ansin/Getty Images)

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.

SPOKE Gallery hours are Wednesday – Friday
12:00pm – 5:00 pm
Saturdays by appointment
* For Saturday appointment, Please email at least two days in advance: [email protected]
or call 617.315.7318
Mass Cultural Council

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.