Presented in partnership with the ICA/Boston; Mayor’s Office of Arts and Culture, City of Boston; MASS Design Group; and Songha & Company led by artist and creative director Hank Willis Thomas

(Boston, MA—JUNE 11, 2024) This summer, the Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston (ICA) presents The Gun Violence Memorial Project, an exhibition and citywide collaboration between the Mayor’s Office of Arts and Culture, City of Boston; MASS Design Group; Louis D. Brown Peace Institute; Purpose Over Pain; and Songha & Company, a producer of public artworks founded by artist Hank Willis Thomas. From Aug. 29, 2024, to Jan. 20, 2025, The Gun Violence Memorial Project will be on view at the ICA, Boston City Hall, and the MASS Design Group gallery in Boston’s South End (see hours and locations below).  

The Gun Violence Memorial Project creates space to gather and remember in light of the ongoing gun violence crisis. The memorial comprises four glass houses, each built of 700 clear bricks, a reference to the average number of gun deaths every week in the United States in 2019, when the memorial opened. The average number of U.S. weekly gun deaths in 2024 is 840. Many of the bricks hold remembrance objects—baby shoes, graduation tassels, and photographs—offered by families in honor of loved ones whose lives have been taken due to gun violence. These living memorials invite us to view the impact of gun violence through individual personal narratives. 

As Pamela Bosley, co-founder of Purpose Over Pain and mother of Terrell Bosley, a victim of gun violence, said: “You hear those numbers all the time, but you never tie names to them. I wanted you to see who my son was.”  

First launched at the 2019 Chicago Architecture Biennale and exhibited at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C. The Gun Violence Memorial Project will be on view for the first time in the northeast in Boston. The project was conceived in 2018 by MASS Design Group and Songha & Company, with gun violence prevention organizations Purpose Over Pain and Everytown for Gun Safety. Local collection events will be organized in partnership with the Louis D. Brown Peace Institute to accept new remembrance objects from those who have had loved ones taken by gun violence. These remembrance objects in addition to the families’ stories will be incorporated into the memorial houses on view at the ICA to honor Boston-area victims of the gun violence epidemic.  

“We are honored to host The Gun Violence Memorial Project in Boston and, with our partners across the city, bring together our communities to reflect, remember and respond to the devastating consequences of gun violence,” said Jill Medvedow, Ellen Matilda Poss Director of the ICA. “Hank Willis Thomas and MASS continue to reimagine memorials that offer new ways for thinking about commemoration, memory, history and how art and architecture can connect with our communities and the issues of our times.” 

The effects of gun violence in our country are not just numbers and statistics, but real, personal stories that the impact of gun violence has had for victims and will continue to have for their families and loved ones,” said Mayor Michelle Wu. “Our hope is for The Gun Violence Memorial Project to create space to reflect on the lasting effects of gun violence and how we as a nation can make changes to prevent this crisis from continuing.” 

“Our goal was to communicate the enormity of the epidemic,” said Jha D. Amazi from MASS Design Group, “while also honoring the individuals whose lives have been taken.” 

“For every murder, there are at least 10 survivors left to mourn,” said Chaplain Clementina Chéry, President and CEO of the Louis D. Brown Peace Institute. “These numbers do not include extended family, friends, classmates, neighbors or coworkers, raising that number by the dozens. As a survivor-led organization, we are proud to honor those who’ve been killed by gun violence and to give voice to the countless survivors impacted by murder, trauma, grief and loss.”

Hours and Locations  

Two Gun Violence Memorial Houses will be at the ICA  

FRIDAY 10 AM – 9 PM 
SUNDAY 10 AM – 5 PM 
Closed Mondays 

Boston City Hall 
One Gun Violence Memorial House will be at Boston City Hall  

MONDAY – FRIDAY, 8:30 AM – 5 PM 
Closed on City holidays 

MASS Design Group 
1 Chandler St, Boston MA 02116 
One Gun Violence Memorial Project House will be at MASS’s office    

Email to schedule visit 

Remembrance Object Collection Events in Boston  
June 26th – 29th and November (Date TBD) 2024 

To allow Greater Boston families and those throughout the Northeast to contribute to the memorial, donation events will be held with information being shared closer to the dates. In partnership with the Louis D. Brown Peace Institute, a multi-day collection event will take place this summer and fall to accept new remembrance objects from those who have had loved ones taken by gun violence. Please visit for more information on Remembrance Object Collection events or email with any specific questions  

The Artist’s Voice: Hank Willis Thomas + Jha D Amazi 
Thursday, October 24, 2024  
FREE admission  
Location: ICA/Boston 

About the ICA     
Since its founding in 1936, the ICA has shared the pleasures of reflection, inspiration, imagination, and provocation that contemporary art offers with its audiences. A museum at the intersection of contemporary art and civic life, the ICA has advanced a bold vision for amplifying the artist’s voice and expanding the museum’s role as educator, incubator, and convener. Its exhibitions, performances, and educational programs provide access to the breadth and diversity of contemporary art, artists, and the creative process, inviting audiences of all ages and backgrounds to participate in the excitement of new art and ideas. The ICA is located at 25 Harbor Shore Drive, Boston, MA, 02210. The Watershed is located at 256 Marginal Street, East Boston, MA 02128. For more information, call 617-478-3100 or visit our website at Follow the ICA on Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok.  

About MASS Design Group  
MASS Design Group is an architecture and design collective that researches, builds, and advocates for architecture that promotes justice and human dignity. They have worked in over 20 countries, with 30 projects built or in construction. MASS brings inclusive design processes and invests in community empowerment, helping partners advance their mission through the built environment. Their project, the National Memorial for Peace and Justice in Montgomery, Alabama, was recently called “the single greatest work of American architecture of the twenty-first century.” 

About Songha & Company 
Songha & Company is a producer of public artworks. By and through its founder, artist Hank Willis Thomas, Songha & Company practices in the area of conceptual public art by working primarily with themes related to perspective, identity, commodity, media, and popular culture. The company was named after Thomas’ cousin, Songha Thomas Willis, who was a victim of gun violence on February 2, 2000.  

About Purpose Over Pain 
Purpose Over Pain was formed in 2007 by several Chicago area parents whose children’s lives were taken by gun violence. They advocate for safer communities, strengthen families by providing crisis support to parents/guardians whose children have been victims of gun violence and provide positive development activities for children and youth. 

About the Mayor’s Office of Arts and Culture, City of Boston  
The Mayor’s Office of Arts and Culture is a City agency that enhances the quality of life, the economy, and the design of the City through the arts. The role of the arts in all aspects of life in Boston is reinforced through equitable access to arts and culture in every community, its public institutions, and public places. Key areas of work include support to the cultural sector through grants and programs, support of cultural facilities and artist workspace, as well as the commissioning, review, and care of art in public places. Learn more at 

Media Contacts
ICA: Theresa Romualdez, 
MASS Design Group: Amber Lacroix, 
City of Boston: Morgan Clark,