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"Art is a way to make sense

out of our lived experiences."


-Miki nishida Goerdt

Many of Miki's images are related to emotions or her exploration to understand herself, others, and life experiences. She found oil painting as an avenue of self-expression when she was 16 years old and never stopped artmaking since then. In recent years, she has expanded her artistic expression to printmaking and mixed media. Her artmaking reflects her social work background, psychological concepts and emotions, social justice issues, racial/ethnic/gender/cultural identities, and her reflections on interactions with others.

Life experiences and events often do not make sense right away. This was especially true for Miki as she moved to America after high school, away from her home country of Japan. Art has helped her to process and extract meanings out of her lived experiences as an immigrant and a woman of color. Art also has been a method for her to contemplate how to make space for difficult feelings, joy and losses in life, and alternative viewpoints.  Throughout her life, art has been the tool for her to make sense out of experiences in life and in the society. 

Miki is a board-certified art therapist in addition to being an artist. This means she helps people to learn more about themselves through art making. Art therapy is about healing what hurts, cultivating self-awareness, and growing yourself through creative expression. No prior art experience or artistic skill is required. More information about her art therapy & counseling practice can be found here.

If you are an art therapist or a social worker interested in clinical supervision, please find more info here.


  • Master of Social Work (May 2004) & Advanced Graduate Study Certificate in Art Therapy (August 2015), Marywood University, Scranton, PA

  • Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Art (May 2002), Wartburg College, Waverly, IA


  • Honorable Mention, A New Palette For The Workhouse (2006) , The Lorton Arts Foundation, Reston, VA

  • Semi-Finalist, L. Ron Hubbard’s the Illustrator of Future Contest (1999), Nationwide

  • Second Prize, Illustration of Books Contest (1998), Mu-Shi Tale Inc., Nationwide


  • Intersection: Identity and culture (Nov 2023 - Jan 2024), Falls Church Arts Gallery, Falls CHurch, VA

  • Five Points 2023 printmaking Juried Exhibition (June-July 2023), Five Points Arts Center, Torrington, CT

  • The Unseen (Feb - Mar 2023), Del Ray Artisan Gallery,  Alexandria, VA

  • Collab: Conversations in Art (July - Aug, 2022), Fall Church Arts Gallery, Falls Church, VA

  • Feminist Insight: Telling Her Story (3/2022), The Ellington-White Contemporary Art Gallery, Fayetteville, NC

  • No Justice, No Peace: Global Protest, Unrest, and Conflict (2021), James Wise Gallery, Norfolk State University, Norfolk, VA

  • 20/20 in Hindsight--Coping, Confronting, and Creating Change (2021), Online exhibition, Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles, CA

  • Your Place at The Table (2020), 311 Gallery, Raleigh, NC

  • Facing Forward (Oct, 2020 – Jan, 2021), Light Art Space, Silver City, NM

  • Divulge: A National Exhibition Featuring the Use of Art for Therapy and Mental Health Awareness (2020), d’Art Center, Norfolk, VA

  • When Darkness Falls: Night Exploration (2019), Annmarie Sculpture Garden and Arts Center, Solomons Island, MD

  • Wings exhibition (2015), Falls Church Arts Gallery, Falls Church, VA

  • A New Palette For The Workhouse (2006), The Lorton Arts Foundation, Reston, VA

  • Insight & Inspiration: The Fine Arts Healers (2002), The Center For Being And Becoming, Washington, D.C.


  • Art in nature Festival (2023), National Botanic Garden in Chantilly, VA

  • Hispanic Heritage Month Art Exhibition (2016), Arlington County Central Library, Arlington, VA

  • Impression & Stories (2004), Marywood University Visual Arts Center Lounge, Scranton, PA

  • Art Therapy Unmasked (2004), Studio 120, Binghamton, NY

  • Where I live (2003), Artist For Art Gallery, Scranton, PA

  • Earth Day Exhibition (2003), Artist For Art Gallery, Scranton, PA



  • Art for self-care (Nov 2023), a seminar for September House MAJ, Rockville, MD

  • Building Solidarity among BIPOC Communities (Nov 2022), Workshop at the American Art Therapy Association annual conference, Minneapolis, MN

  • Art Therapy with Older Adults: Creativity as a Healing Tool (Nov 2022), Presentation at Mid-Atlantic Chapter Aging Life Care Association Annual Conference, Philadelphia, PA

  • Art therapy with older adults (Nov 2021), Presentation at Aging Life Care Association Northern Virginia unit meeting. 

  • Art as a tool for self-care and healing (Oct2021), Presentation at the Virtual Wellness and Mental health Summit, Northern Virginia Community College.

  • Awakening your heart: Mindfulness & Art workshop (2017 – 2020), Bi monthly art therapy workshop at Circle Art Studio, Fairfax, VA

  • Printmaking Techniques with CBT Interventions (Oct 2017), Full-day workshop at Expressive Therapies Summit in New York, NY

  • Art Therapy for Older Adults with Mental Illness (March 2016), Half-day workshop at the annual conference of National Association of Social Workers Virginia Chapter, Richmond, VA


  • Together Through Art – Calendar project to advocate for mental illness and older adults (2012), Arlington County RAFT program, Arlington, VA

  • Creativity Within Us – Calendar project with hospice patients’ artworks (2004), VNA Hospice, Scranton, PA

  • Tree of Life mural project (2004), Moses Taylor Hospital Inpatient Hospice Floor, Scranton, PA

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