Last stone of "Human Cost of War" dropped in Copley today

Seeing as it's not hard to find a rubble pile in Boston these days, you may have passed the growing midden of stones that's sprung up in the shadow of Trinity Church in Copley Square without giving it a second thought. But there's a deeper meaning behind that rock heap -- it's actually an ongoing art installation dubbed "The Human Cost of War." And today, the work-in-progress has come to an end.

Every day at noon since October 7, 2007, the Quincy-based Mobius artist Joanne Rice has brought to the church a box of 100 beach stones collected from the South Shore, and dropped them one by one on the growing mound (often to the bewilderment of lunchtime rubberneckers). From her artist's statement: "Each day I bring 100 stones,/in memory of those who have lost their lives/in the Afghanistan and Iraq wars./I am thinking of those who have died as kin."

Rice started "Human Cost" to coincide with the sixth anniversary of the U.S.'s invasion of Afghanistan. Two years and 70,000 stones later, her project is finished (while its namesake keeps on truckin').

For her trouble, Rice has won an award from arts org the Tanne Foundation. And according to a Mobius email that went out last night to herald the end of "Human Cost," she's also a nominee for a fellowship award from the Boston Foundation, for which she and fellow nominees will be honored at a special ceremony October 13.

As Mobius director Jed Speare assured in yesterday's email: "This isn't the last we will hear about Joanne and her work."
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