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Healing the Body

September 2, 2018 - December 2, 2018

On View in Site 2 Community Gallery

Healing the Body

Interactive Art Project will take place during the November Late Shift event:
Friday, November 9, 7 – 10

The Torpedo Factory Art Center is proud to present Healing the Body, a group exhibition of abstract figure paintings that were created by participants in Healing the Body workshops taught by Ashley Dequilla. The workshops were aimed to promote painting as a mental wellness tool accessible to everyone, especially marginalized communities and or persons who have experienced trauma. Participants are encouraged to use movement, art-making, body-centered mindfulness practices, and women’s community as the main healing modalities. This is a support group that is meant to be fun, joyful, as well as deep, effective and enrichening. Students were also encouraged to engage in relaxed discussions and meditations on feminist approaches to figuration and tactility in art. Through person-centered reflection and group conversation, students are encouraged to discuss their abstract creations and to “verbalize the narrative” represented by the works.

By the end of the workshops, students have been:
● Introduced to experiences of bodily awareness and haptic memory
● Worked toward embodied and idiosyncratic articulations of the figure
● Explored painting as a meditative practice towards self-awareness, healing and transformation.
● Reflected on the limitations of traditional figuration techniques
● Gained knowledge about and exposure to various art historical movements and works, especially those by women artists, including potential class meetings at a museum
● Gained comfort and confidence with intuitive painting, which will be emphasized over technical ability, relying on color theory and painting for the sake of expression

Artworks will rotate throughout the duration of the exhibition.

Donate to Healing the Body

For Inquiries on the Exhibition

Contact: Leslie Mounaime, Target Gallery Director
Phone: 703-746-4590

About the Curator

Ashley Dequilla is an artist, educator and activist based in Washington DC who was trained at the College of William and Mary and the Maryland Institute College of Art. Her paintings explore storytelling through archetypes and mythology, as well as spirituality, political views, the condition of the woman’s body and psychological landscapes. Ashley currently works to provide art programming and education with local organizations such as the Jung Society of Washington, the Asian Pacific Islander Domestic Violence Resource Project, and The Sanctuaries — a non profit for artist activists. In the summer of 2018, she launched Healing the Body, a series of art and wellness workshops that aims to un-silence and empower its participants. In her free time she enjoys yoga, museums, cooking and her cat Midnight.

About Healing the Body

Created in 2018, Healing the Body is a series of a classes and workshops that aims to unsilence and empower its participants by using approaches to painting and drawing the body that do not rely on the gendered gaze typical of traditional figure painting. Built on an understanding of art as a wellness tool, Healing the Body serves as an informal support group, encouraging community building and open and safe discussion of the body within art and society.

“Our long-term objective is to heal at an inter-generational level through meditation and art, as well as create programming with organizations and/or partners that support people with disorders, addictions or disabilities. Victims of abuse, marginalized communities and at-risk youth are also peoples that we plan to serve and support. We are an organization of artists, creatives and visionaries — not therapists — but we are expanding and believe that healing is not a field that can be commoditized or solely inhabited by medical professionals. The end goal is to provide a platform that highlights mental health wellness and the access to art therapy by challenging traditional methods of art instruction and art history education.”


Current bodies of work are created at the workshops partnered with the Jung Society of Washington,   Asian Pacific Islander Domestic Violence Resource Project, Artspace DC, and the Sanctuaries.










The artworks in the October exhibition were created at the workshops partnered with Artspace DC, Asian Pacific Islander Domestic Violence Resource Project, and Femme Fatale DC.







The artworks in the September exhibition were created at the workshops partnered with Artspace DC and the Sanctuaries.



September 2, 2018
December 2, 2018
Event Categories:


Torpedo Factory Art Center


Sites 2 & 3

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Torpedo Factory Art Center
105 N. Union St.
Alexandria, VA 22314
Telephone: Please use the staff directory
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Modified Hours for COVID-19

Wednesday - Sunday10 am - 6 pm

Entrance and exit are via sliding doors on the Waterfront and Union Street only. No capacity limit, but masks are required for admittance and social distancing should be observed for the duration of the visit. Check Today’s Hours for expanded information.

Artists maintain their own studio hours. It's best to confirm availability before your visit.

Torpedo Factory Art Center is closed for New Year's Day, Easter, Independence Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.

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Torpedo Factory Art Center is part of the City of Alexandria Office of the Arts, a division of the Department of Recreation, Parks and Cultural Activities.