Jennifer Dodson is a local artist and GWU graduate student from Alexandria, Virginia. Jennifer attended Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York, where she earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts in painting and minored in art history. Throughout her career Jennifer has achieved numerous art awards, including a few that have sent her overseas. Her love of travel, art, and helping others have sent her to such destinations such as Europe, India and South Africa. Her involvement as a “Rush Teaching Artist” at the Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation in Brooklyn fueled her desire to pursue a Master’s in art therapy. At Rush, Jennifer began her teaching career with at-risk elementary school children from all five boroughs. Jennifer could see the positive effects of art in the students’ lives as well as her own. The pride and confidence they gained from creating made her certain that art is indeed a lifesaver that impacts one in the immediate moment, as well as years to come.
Jennifer is currently finishing her last semester of graduate school at The George Washington University Art Therapy Program. Her identity as an artist combined with counseling skills have led her to work at places such as George Washington University Art Therapy Trauma Clinic, dedicated to serving children, adolescents, and adults in the metropolitan D.C. area, as well as Friendship Place and Miriam’s Kitchen, both dedicated to serving homeless adults in D.C.. Jennifer has also worked at The Banyan Tree in Channai, India, a home for abandoned women, conducting art therapy groups. Most recently, Jennifer has returned from a trip to South Africa where she facilitated art therapy groups and art lessons at Bokamoso Youth Center.
When Jennifer is not deep in her studies, she enjoys hula-hooping and listening to Bob Dylan. She is also a commissioned artist who specializes in portraiture. She has completed a few public murals in northern Virginia that are still on display, including the mural at Patrick Henry Library in Vienna. Some of Jennifer’s favorite artists include Alice Neel, Pippilotti Rist, and Stephen Powers. Her favorite art therapists include Shaun McNiff, Pat B. Allen, and Arthur Robbins (to name a few!).