Leslie Holt and Rose Jaffe: Restorative Gestures 

Tephra Institute of Contemporary Art Arts

Tephra ICA at Signature 
On view February 16, 2024 – June 23, 2024 

Tephra Institute of Contemporary Art (Tephra ICA) presents Restorative Gestures which brings together new work by DC-based artists Leslie Holt and Rose Jaffe. The exhibition will be on view at the Tephra ICA at Signature gallery February 16, 2024 – June 23, 2024, and an Opening Reception and Artist Talk will be held on Thursday, February 22, at 6pm at the Signature Apartments in Reston Town Center. 

Holt’s Brain Stains, draped in the language of clinical technology, use emotionally resonant color palettes, PET scan imagery, and hand stitched text, to create expansive views of mental health conditions. A number of Holt’s works in the exhibition also draw from her personal involvement as a caregiver to her ailing parents at the end of their lives. 

In a series of recent monoprints, Rose Jaffe explores her own journey of healing and thriving with stylized figures that fill the page with comfort and ease. The sensuous curves of the bodies along with growing plants and her vibrant use of color–including deep purples, bright greens, and radiant oranges–give these works a sense of jubilance and peace. 

Together, the work from the two artists forms a restorative gesture that challenges common narratives of illness and recovery. This exhibition aims to inspire viewers to cultivate compassion for their own interior lives and the varied experiences of others. 

This exhibition is co-curated by Tephra ICA’s 2023 Curatorial Fellow Sandy Cheng and Associate Curator Hannah Barco. 

Leslie Holt is an artist and educator who exhibits internationally and is represented by David Lusk Gallery in Memphis. She has taught at the college level for over 15 years and now teaches in community settings. Leslie is also the creator of Neuro Blooms, a project which uses art to make mental health conditions visible and beautiful. By partnering with organizations and schools on their mental health awareness efforts, Neuro Blooms has had a presence in Maryland, St. Louis, United Kingdom, and the Netherlands. She is co-director of Red Dirt Studio, a warehouse studio for a group of independently practicing artists and creative professionals in Mt. Rainier, MD. 

Rose Jaffe is a visual artist based in Washington, DC. Her media span mural painting, printmaking, and digital illustration. Rose received her BFA from The University of Michigan and has pursued an art career full-time after teaching middle and high school art in the city. She has painted over 30 murals nationally and internationally, including over 20 in her hometown of Washington. Her art has been featured in over fifteen publications, including The Washington Post, City Paper, NBC and CNN among others. Rose’s work is vibrant and often playful, with themes of political activism, natural healing, and spiritual grounding. She is dedicated to harnessing the power of art to spark coversation, build connection, and create social change. 

Tephra ICA at Signature, located at the Signature apartment building in Reston, Virgnia, is an innovative satellite gallery space that presents a year-round schedule of exhibitions featuring work by local and regional artists as selected by Tephra ICA curatorial staff. The gallery is provided in partnership with Boston Properties and Bozzuto and generously supported by Reston Community Center. 

Visitors are welcome Wednesday–Saturday from 11am–5pm. The gallery is located at the Signature Apartments at 11850 Freedom Dr, Reston, Virginia. 

Opening Reception and Artist Talk

Thursday, February 22, at 6pm

11850 Freedom Dr, Reston, Virginia 

Free and open to the public 


Pictured at top

Left:  Leslie Holt, Perfect Night, 2023 
Right:  Rose Jaffe, Carried Away, 2023 

About Tephra Institute of Contemporary Art

Tephra ICA is a non-profit, non-collecting institution committed to promoting innovative contemporary art and thinking. Leading with curiosity and care, the organization is a catalyst, generator, and advocate for visual arts. 

Tephra ICA is supported in part by Reston Community Center, ArtsFairfax, Virginia Commission for the Arts, and the National Endowment for the Arts. 

tephraica.org