SURF: A VIEW FROM AFTER
By Karen La Du
Curated by Joette James
July 1 – September 25, 2022

 

DC Arts Center is proud to present:

SURF: A VIEW FROM AFTER

By Karen La Du
Curated by Joette James, M.A.

JULY 1 – SEPTEMBER 25, 2022

Opening Reception: Friday, July 1, 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Artist Talk: Sunday, August 21, 3:00 PM
Closing Reception: Sunday, September 25, 6:00 PM – 7:00 PM

DC Arts Center, located in the heart of Adams Morgan, is proud to present SURF: A View From After by Karen La Du and curated by Joette James. The exhibition features petite prints with bold color juxtapositions of organic shapes, providing alternately microscopic and enlarged views of the collaged originals that mimic the ebb and flow of the tides. SURF: A View From After takes you into imaginary landscapes reminiscent of a beautiful garden where land, sea, and sky converge.

“I have drawn and communed with the sea for most of my life as I was fortunate to call an idyllic barrier island home,” said artist Karen La Du. “For over six decades, I lived and worked and played and grew in this amazing place. The colors, textures, and shapes of the garden, sunrises, sunsets, and the movements of the tides are all interpreted in SURF. These bold juxtapositions of organic shapes were originally depicted as collages created in my studio at the shore house. They are now available as a series of giclées on museum etching paper that manipulate the sizes and viewpoints of each composition as well as coloring pages for you to interpret in your favorite color combinations or to fill in with interesting patterns or collage materials.”

Karen La Du is a prolific artist debuting some of her best work yet,” said curator Joette James. “While Karen’s work is as much about the natural environment depicted through organic abstract forms, it is equally representative of memory – the personal memories she built in that very place.”

DC Arts Center’s Nano Gallery was created to present small format art in a professional exhibition setting. The Nano Gallery offers artists an additional resource for presenting their work, which because of its size, might not have the opportunity for a solo exhibit elsewhere. New in 2022, we’ve expanded the Nano Gallery to include more artwork than ever before! DC Arts Center’s Nano Gallery produces four exhibitions annually. Artists are selected by DCAC’s Visual Arts Committee. Guidelines for submissions can be found on our website.

“What’s exciting about Karen’s work is its playfulness and connection to the work produced by our Curatorial Initiative,” said Executive Director Sean Elias. “The exhibitions in our Main Gallery and Nano Gallery both explore our land, sea, and sky and do so in complementary ways. The Curatorial Initiative in the Main Gallery takes on a more direct reference to climate change. Karen’s work complements this by showing us the simple beauty and joy the natural world provides. The same natural world we must protect. I couldn’t think of a better exhibition to produce than Karen’s and at a better time than right now.”

THE FRAGILITY OF THEIR NATURE
Curated by Claudia Rouseau
A DC Arts Center Curatorial Initiative Exhibition
July 1 – July 31, 2022

 

DC Arts Center is proud to present:

THE FRAGILITY OF THEIR NATURE

A Curatorial Initiative Exhibition Curated by Claudia Rousseau
Assisted by Apprentice Curator Ashley McDonald

JULY 1 – JULY 31, 2022

Opening Reception: Friday, July 1, 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Artist Talk: Thursday, July 7, 6:00 PM

DC Arts Center, located in the heart of Adams Morgan, is proud to present the first exhibition of the 2022 Curatorial Initiative, The Fragility of Their Nature, curated by Claudia Rousseau and assisted by apprentice curator Ashley McDonald. The exhibition features Sondra N. Arkin, Jacqui Crocetta, Rebecca Clark, and Marty Ittner  — an all-female identifying cohort of artists who use their art to address climate change and other prevalent and pressing environmental issues. “While advocating for clean oceans, air, and land, their works are neither political nor pedantic,” said curator Claudia Rousseau. “They are striking because of their primary value as art objects and powerful because they tell stories with their imagery alone. Each uses a unique style and technique to achieve her intent.”

Claudia Rousseau continues, “The fragility of vulnerable populations and the threats of climate change have informed the art of Jacqui Crocetta for some time. While the recent series of acrylic paintings in this show allude to natural forms in the ocean, the beaches, and forests, they are abstracted and their content open-ended. Marty Ittner is also concerned about ocean pollution and its effect on marine life. In her Sentinel Series, using cyanotype and marbling techniques, she focuses on the danger of rising sea levels as the result of climate change. Sondra N. Arkin seeks to reveal the fragility of natural systems and the human impact on the planet using an abstract vocabulary. A selection of small works traces the surfaces of water and the movement of trees. The sensitive and exquisitely detailed drawings of Rebecca Clark are meant to remind us of our relationship with the earth and its creatures. Together, they are a powerful testament to the need for a renewed connectedness with the world in which we all live.”

“It was such an honor and pleasure to work with Claudia Rousseau and have her join the esteemed roster of curators who have served as mentors in the Curatorial Initiative,” said Program Manager Jerry Truong. “By giving Dr. Rousseau the complete creative freedom to mount the exhibition that she wanted, it allowed her to express her unique perspective on the pressing issues surrounding environmentalism. She gives voice to a varied roster of female artists and their thoughtful takes on conservation/preservation, climate change, and the broader relationship between humans and nature.”

The Curatorial Initiative reflects DCAC’s commitment to curatorial practice as an integral part of supporting emerging and under-recognized artists. Each year an apprentice curator is selected to gain experience in planning and mounting an exhibition by working with an experienced mentor curator. The program results in two exhibitions each year: in the spring, the mentor curator selects artists and plans the exhibition and accompanying catalog with the assistance of the apprentice; in the autumn, the roles are reversed, and the apprentice curator plans and executes an exhibition with the aid and advice of the mentor. By nurturing new curators, DCAC hopes to bring fresh perspectives into our programming while assisting a new generation of curators who will take the knowledge they gain into our arts community and beyond.

“My vision for DC Arts Center continues to be rooted in immediacy,” said Executive Director Sean Elias. “This exhibition couldn’t be more prescient as we grapple with the immediate and imminent effects of climate change and the ways in which we must face our own fragility as a species. The work assembled is representative of a superior level of artistry. I can’t see how anyone could experience this work without being moved to immediate action.”

HYPER-FOCUS
Julian Rumos
Curated by Joette James
May 27 – June 26, 2022

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DC Arts Center is proud to present emerging artist: Julian Rumos in debut Exhibition

HYPER-FOCUS

Curated by Joette James, M.A.

MAY 27 – JUNE 26, 2022

Opening Reception: Friday, May 27, 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Artist Talk: Sunday, June 12, 2022, at 3:00 PM
Closing Reception: Sunday, June 26, 2022 6:00 PM – 7:00 PM

DC Arts Center, located in the heart of Adams Morgan, is proud to introduce emerging artist Julian Rumos with the opening of her debut solo show, Hyper-Focus. Hyper-Focus also marks the debut of curator and DC Arts Center Board Member Joette James. Featuring an array of acrylics on canvas, Hyper-Focus is at its heart a visual story exploring identity. “I believe that everybody has a history that can be told through their physical presentation,” said artist Julian Rumos. “Early portraits of family and friends reflected long personal histories I had with the subjects; newer works push me to produce snapshots of a stranger’s personhood. I challenge myself to use a consistent color palette to connect the visual stories of different people.”

“Julian’s work is powerful, visually compelling, and immediate,” said new Executive Director, Sean Elias. “Exploring identity in America at a time when identity and geography determine survival is an exploration of great weight and magnitude. Julian Rumos ably brings this exploration to the canvas and allows us to enter into a dialogue without the limits of the English language.”

Julian Rumos continues, “As I shape the person on my canvas, I make it a goal to keep as many sketch lines as possible, so the piece’s development is visible in the final result. I believe that doing so speaks to the personal history I have with each work I make. My process for painting portraits parallels that of clay sculpting; the form becomes more detailed and refined through the passage of time. I use guiding lines with a pen to analyze and shape the composition. These marks also allow me to show the viewer the underlying structure of each portrait. Further, I feel that revealing the molding process in portraits provides an opportunity to reflect on the emotional, behavioral, and social shaping we all undergo throughout life, both conscious and unconscious. Each of my models has been defined by a complex and unique history. The experiences that make up their personhood are as dynamic and numerous as the strokes used to capture them.”

“Within Rumos’s work, whether it is someone well known to her or a stranger, we recover both the individual as well as clues to the generations who have gone before,” said curator Joette James. “How do we truly know another person? Despite the individualized and nuanced nature of humanity and the layers of bio-psycho-social experiences that shape us, in our fast-paced and tech-driven world, it is easy to lose sight of the complexity. In Hyper-Focus, painter Julian Rumos gives us a glimpse of that depth.”

Nano Gallery: Ants Are Cavemen,
small works by Jarrett Arnold
April 1 – June 26, 2022

DCAC’s Nano Gallery Presents:

 

Ants Are Cavemen

small works by Jarrett Arnold

April 1 – June 26, 2022

Opening Reception: April 1st, 7-9pm
Closing Reception & Artist Talk: June 26th, 6-7pm

These drawings are influenced byThomYorke and Modest Mouse songs. On the best of days, I start by listening to music and making drawings in my sketchbook. I sketch in pen and ink, sometimes pencil. I use realistic figurative drawing to make sure my hand, eye, and heart are properly aligned.

Sparkplug: Human Nature
Curated by Eric Celarier
February 25 – April 3, 2022

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DCAC’s 2022-2023 Sparkplug Collective Presents:

Human Nature

Curated by Eric Celarier
Members: Adi Segal, Alex L. Porter, Caroline MacKinnon, Gayle Friedman, Kanchan Balsé, Louisa Neill, Maggie Gourlay, Pixie Alexander, Rebecca Perez, Shelley Picot

February 25 – April 3, 2022

Opening Reception: February 25th, 7-9pm
Artist Talk: TBD
Closing Reception: April 3rd, 5pm

The first Sparkplug show of this season, entitled Human Nature brings together disparate practices under the common theme of internal revelation. Human Nature does not deal with the objective, but with the fact that human consciousness understands the world subjectively. Like most fellowships, Sparkplug includes a variety of styles and viewpoints, but, even with these differences, the endeavor to display something internal binds these artists together, which is only heightened by the earnestness in which they approach their practice. Considering perspectives on such disparate subjects as the accumulation of familiar objects, trauma, birth, domestic and natural space, abuse, measurement of time, contemporary mythmaking, cultural identity, and the planet’s biosphere, these artists find the poetry in these issues to make them emotionally relevant.

About Sparkplug- In 2007, Sparkplug was launched as DCAC’s artists collective. The program’s goal is to bring together artists and curators from a wide range of backgrounds and experiences and foster their development as a group. Every two years, a new group of artists is selected to participate. DCAC provides the collective with support, meeting space, and exhibition and networking opportunities. Members of the group meet monthly to discuss their work, discuss exhibitions in the area, and explore common interests and challenges. Each year DCAC features an exhibition of the Sparkplug group.

 

Bella Maniera
Trisha Kyner & Osvaldo Mesa
January 14, 2022 – February 20, 2022

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Bella Maniera

Trisha Kyner and Osvaldo Mesa

January 14th – February 20th, 2022

Opening Reception: Friday January 14th, 7 – 9pm
Artist Talk: Sunday February 20th, 6 – 7pm

Maniera or Mannerism is the Art Historical term for a type of art that emerged in the late Renaissance.  Characteristics of Mannerist painting and sculpture include a privileging of style over naturalism and an artistic predilection for complex compositions and figurative invention.

The contemporary painter Osvaldo Mesa and sculptor Trisha Kyner share an interest in exploring art historical styles and have a particular fondness for Mannerism.

Osvaldo Mesa’s paintings combine imagery and abstract pattern in creative juxtapositions.  They often contain African and European elements that reflect the complexity of his Afro-Cuban heritage.  Within one composition, there may be several paintings or visual windows.

Trisha Kyner’s ceramic sculptures frequently borrow poses or color palettes from art history. She combines these with a feminist sensibility as she explores issues of agency, control and vulnerability.  She delights in figurative distortion and expression.

Mesa’s paintings may reference Baroque decorative patterns or the marks of Abstract Expressionism. Kyner’s  may nod to Kamakura era Japanese sculpture or Dutch genre painting.  Whatever the stylistic borrowings, both artists invest their work with sensuality and emotion. Their use of style is not distant or ironic, but rich in color and drama. Maniera is less artifice than authenticity.  Through style, both find a way to express lived contradictions.

 

 

Nano Gallery: Intimate Iconography
Lisa K. Rosenstein
January 7, 2022 – March 27, 2022

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DCAC’s Nano Gallery Presents:

Intimate Iconography: A Collection of Introspective Drawings

by Lisa K. Rosenstein

January 7, 2022 – March 27, 2022

Opening Reception: Friday, January 7th @7pm **Postponed**
Closing Reception and Artist Talk: Sunday, March 27th @5pm

Some people meditate, Lisa draws. The Jungians cal this using the Active Imagination. This art technique integrates the conscious and the unconscious, providing a deeper understanding of the self. She draws in small sketchbooks using her favorite fine-line micron pens that require the gentlest of touch, which rewards with sensual and satisfying marks, as they glide over the paper.

 

Power of PrayHer:
This Light of Mines
photographs by Lisa brown
April 8 – May 15, 2022

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Power of PrayHer: This Light of Mines

photographs by Lisa Brown

April 8 – May 15, 2022

Opening Reception: Friday, April 8th, 7-9pm

Closing Reception and Artist Talk: Sunday, May 15th, 6-7

Power from women of the African diaspora are commonly overlooked, but are the backbones to all communities. They are not given space in the art world for healing through means of an art practice or time with Mother Earth. Brown and black women suffer the most micro-aggressions, being a woman, and having skin tones many shades of brown.  These still photos on film provide a space of healing from the inside of their bodies to the lens of my camera . I stand in protest and with my camera to capture their light. They are the medicine, they are the offering, they are the altar.

 

About The Artist: Lisa Brown was born and raised between Washington, DC and Compton,California.She had a film camera in her hand at the age of 7. She was inspired by her grandfather, who was a student at Howard Law,but a street photographer in DC in the late 80’s. Photography and  darkroom were the first classes she took at the Washington DC Children’s museum. She attended secondary education at Prince George’s College,where she acquired a degree in arts. After college she dove deep into Africana Studies and now attends MICA for photography. She has been recognized by the Pittsburgh Art Society, Black is Magazine ,Dayton Art Institute and The National museum of Women’s in the Arts.