WAS gallery Presents Erika Cleveland There, There: Healing Dolls as Solace in an Off Kilter World

By Editorial Team on January 22, 2019

Sat, January 26 2019 — Sat, March 2 2019

Erika Cleveland. “Rhea Shedding the Old”. 2018. Sculptural needle felted and mixed media. 20 x 20 x 10 in.
Opening Reception: Saturday, January 26 from 6:30pm to 8:30pm

Artist Erika Cleveland uses the term “doll” in her work because she believes there is something unique about the word doll- humble, simple and yet powerful. Dolls have been around since the beginnings of humankind. They hold considerable power for us; they are our companions and they reflect us back to ourselves. Dolls can heal us physically, spiritually and emotionally.

In this solo show at WAS gallery, Cleveland explores various themes through mythology, folk tales, religion, spirituality and her personal dream symbolism. A central theme is the power within the female body, including the way this power is deeply rooted in nature. Darker themes such as loss, sadness and fear alternate with the playfulness of fauns, forest creatures and elves. The dolls express the dualities of life in the way they shape-shift and transform, for example through the medium of the folk art form called flip dolls. Like votives, amulets or talismen throughout history, dolls provide a focal point for healing and meditation.


  • Saturdays 2-6pm
  • and by appointment

WAS gallery is located at 5110 Ridgefield Road, 2nd Floor, Bethesda, MD. For more information on the artist or the artwork, please contact Joumana Moukarim: wasgallery@gmail.com/ 202.361.5223.