Sometimes, the more we intellectualize through talk, the more the split between our thoughts and feelings widens.  When we shift to a more “right brain,” creative approach and engage in art, movement, drama, etc. the door opens for client to shift from explaining their feelings to actually feeling them.  In that moment there is a tangible body experience of how feelings affect them, and a safe place to explore ways to manage those feelings.” Dr. Deah Schwartz

Since 2010, our iaedp™ family of supporters and professionals have witnessed the significant role that art plays in treating eating disorders. As we embark upon 2020, we are reminded of the significance role that our Annual Imagine Me Beyond What You See: Body Image Mannequin Art Competition, has played almost 10 years later. At our 2020 iaedp Symposium we are expanding to include all media including poetry and spoken word.

2020 Imagine Me Beyond What You See Art Competition Submission OPEN Through December 15, 2019

Our multimedia art contest is open to everyone; however, iaedp™ is expressly asking treatment centers and private practices who have art therapists or who use art to work with clients, to submit entries  created by them. We welcome all forms of visual, three dimensional, mixed media art as well as poetry and spoken word.

Entries must include a 300 word description/inspiration of your art along with a 2/3 sentence biography of artist/group. Provide a list of the materials you used and submit 4 photos of the artwork in high (300+) resolution jpeg format that shows at least 4 different angles. Photos will be enlarged, so quality is important. Poetry and/or spoken word should be submitted in writing and/or 1-2 minute You Tube video link or audio mp3. Entries will be accepted beginning July 15 through December 15 of every year and will require you signing an artist release. Send to

We fully understand the power and passion of using art as an expressive bridge to address difficult topics. Over the years, we have created an Imagine Me Beyond What You See Community Art Archive that provides a glimpse into the psyche and beauty of clients, artists, and survivors pushing through and healing.

In 2011, as part of iaedp’s Body Image Awareness Project and an effort to educate through art and conversation, iaedp™ created the “Imagine Me Beyond What You See” Travel Exhibition. We provide guidance to treatment facilities, organizations and institutions for ways to display 18×24 mounted posters and discuss using their descriptions. The following year, we also created an “Imagine Me Beyond What You See” Short Film which narrates the stories behind the 2012 mannequin entries and artists. This film is designed for middle to high school and college counselors as well as youth organizations. There are questions at the end to assist in open-ended dialogue and eating disorders education. Our goal is to listen and lead within the field of eating disorders and the communities we serve.

If you’re interested in learning how you can utilize our archives and programming, please contact

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