The Salve Regina Gallery Presents Food for the Soul: Seven Washington Artists

By Editorial Team on December 10, 2018

Wed, 12 December 2018 - Fri, 25 January 2019

Helen Lewis, Ireland, 2017. Courtesy of the Salve Regina Gallery.
Reception: Thursday, January 24 from 4pm to 7pm

Food for the Soul: Seven Washington Artists showcases the talents of local painters and graphic artists with intellectual or cognitive disabilities, whose life and work demonstrate the powerful ways in which art can provide vital opportunities for self-actualization. This exhibition illuminates the capacity of art to foster a community gathered in the shared appreciation of human creativity. Food for the Soul will be held in the Salve Regina Gallery at The Catholic University of America from December 12, 2018 through January 25, 2019.

The participating artists – Helen Lewis, Nonja Tiller, Eileen Schofield, Chris Schallhorn, Keith Lewis, Jamila Rahimi, and Mara Clawson – are powerful both in spirit and in artistic talent. Their vibrant work, diverse in medium and style, includes paintings, drawings, and mixed media objects. A diverse collection of pieces in the exhibition span a wide range in terms of style and subject matter, ranging in style from detailed figuration to abstraction, from acrylic paintings to drawn cartoons. Many of the pieces display great mastery in their use of color, presenting viewers with chromatically heightened and visually engaging artwork. All of these works are enthusiastic expressions of the human spirit, and essential pieces of a truly holistic dialogue about contemporary art. Some works are outwardly joyful, like Eileen Schofield’s A Garden, while others use art as a tool for advocacy, like Nonja Tiller’s Disability Rights. In each, the artists present themselves as individuals with a singular artistic voice.

What these artists share in common is their artistic residence at Art Enables, a DC-based professional art gallery “dedicated to creating opportunities for artists with disabilities to make, market, and earn income from their original and compelling artwork.” Through their employment and vocational training at Art Enables, each artist has been given the opportunity to become an active part of a communal professional setting with public exposure, making traveling exhibitions such as this one possible.

The title “Food for the Soul” comes from a quote by Catholic activist Dorothy Day (1897-1980), whose mission was to provide food, shelter, and welcome for the poor and vulnerable during the Great Depression. In February 1940, Day wrote: “Food for the body is not enough. There must be food for the soul.” These goals are shared by the sponsor of this exhibition, The Catholic University of America. Since its founding in 1887, the university has sought to be “an agency serving the needs of human society.” Thus, Food for the Soul joyously celebrates the rich resources and talents of artists who might otherwise be marginalized and embodies the Catholic commitment to engaging with one’s neighbor. While the focus of the show is the intersection between contemporary art and disability, the prevalent theme in Food for the Soul is empowerment and community as achieved through visual art. This exhibition presents works of art to a community rooted in aestheticism and faith, and truly hopes to feed the spirit of each viewer.

Gallery Hours:

  • Monday – Friday: 10am to 4pm
  • and by appointment

The Salve Regina Art Gallery is located at 620 Michigan Ave. NE. For more information, contact them at or call at 202-319-5282.