Body Image & Eating

Art Exhibit

"Art and Eating Disorders: Building Community Awareness"

April 9 to May 31

Featuring the works of clients from The Emily Program Foundation

More information


The Illusion that Culture is Permanent

Thursdays, April 11 and May 2, 6:30 to 8:30pm

Our desire for perfection can be a prison; the path to freedom is through recognition of our momentary state: the impermanent bodies, moments, and spaces that we inhabit. The image we carry of our body, the beliefs we have about food and the reasons we eat, the lies we tell ourselves about our identity and our beauty are largely bound by culture, era, and upbringing. These fleeting beliefs mask themselves as permanent truth.

This two part session will explore the relationships that exist between eating, identity, culture, and spirituality. In two individual sessions we will attempt to understand the desire to perfect ideal image types, learn of the impermanence of ideal body images, and explore how we can support one another in a journey of living more whole. We will challenge our beliefs regarding the impermanent ideals of our culture and embrace the permanence of love and acceptance.

Session 1 - April 11: Understanding

Western society is bombarded with messages that allude to the attainment of perfection through a defined body image, a trending diet, and the sexualization of the female body. Session 1 will endeavor to grasp the “who, what, why, where, and how” of eating disorders, negative body image perceptions, and perfectionism prevalent within our society. We will watch portions from “America The Beautiful 2,” followed by expert-led discussion and writings on the topic and how it relates to our spiritual self.

Keri Clifton is the Community Outreach Coordinator at The Emily Program. She helps in efforts to raise awareness about eating disorders and related issues in the community through the coordination of The Emily Program’s community education and outreach efforts. She has extensive public speaking experience and presents to schools, health care professionals, and anyone who wants to learn more about eating disorders. Most notably, Keri has presented 2 years in a row at the Minnesota Social Service Association Annual Conference, as a keynote speaker for St. Olaf’s Eating Disorder Awareness Week Program, and as a guest lecturer at the University of Minnesota. She also coordinates The Emily Program Foundation’s volunteer program. She has a bachelor’s in sociology and a minor in Women’s Studies from the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

Katie Loth, M.P.H., R.D., is a Behavioral Epidemiology Doctoral Student in the School of Public Health, at the University of Minnesota. She has a B.S. in Dietetics a M.P.H. in Public Health Nutrition. Katie has focused on adolescent nutrition and the prevention of weight-related disorders. Her dissertation focused on exploring food-related parenting practices and that relationship to weight and disordered eating behaviors in adolescents. She is the Research Project Director for Project F-EAT (Families and Eating and Activity Among Teens), a study of parents designed to examine influences in the family and home on eating, physical activity, and weight-related behaviors of adolescents.

Session 2 - May 2: Accompanying

Standing with and alongside those who face internal battles with food, body image, and perfection is a journey enveloped in sacredness. Session 2 will explore the ways in which art and ritual can be vehicles for healing others and the self from addictions to food and extreme expectations of flawlessness. This exploration will include both listening and active engagement and will offer tangible information on both healing and coping approaches.

Erin Dolan, MS, ATR, and Licensed Professional Counselor. Erin works with individuals and groups within both the residential facilities as well as an intensive outpatient program at The Emily Program. Erin is a Registered Art Therapist who is process-oriented and uses the Art as Therapy approach. She received her Master’s in Art Therapy with an emphasis in Community Counseling from Mount Mary College in Milwaukee, WI.

Tamar Melmed Marmor, M.P.S., A.T.R., and Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. Tamar works with individuals, couples, and families at The Emily Program. She facilitates a number of outpatient groups and is also involved in many intensive programs. Tamar is a registered art therapist and integrates experiential, somatic, and psychodynamic approaches into her work with clients. She received her Master’s in Art Therapy from the School of Visual Arts in New York City, and her post-master’s certification in Marriage and Family Therapy from St. Mary’s University in Minneapolis.

Julie Neraas is an ordained Presbyterian minister, a spiritual director, and associate professor at Hamline University where she has taught since 1991. She served as a chaplain for four years for adolescents and adults at an alcohol and drug treatment center. Julie is the author of Apprenticed to Hope: A Sourcebook for Difficult Times. She serves on the Wisdom Ways Advisory Committee.

WHEN: Thursdays, April 11 and May 2, 6:30-8:30pm

COST: $30/session or $55.00/series