DC Arts Center Presents Karen La Du SURF: A View From After

By Editorial Team on June 27, 2022

Fri, 01 July 2022 - Sun, 25 September 2022

Courtesy of DC Arts Center.
Opening Reception: Friday, July 1, 7:00 PM – 9:00 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.”

Karen La Du, cropped from the SURF series.


  • Opening Reception: Friday, July 1, 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM
    Complimentary beverages and refreshments
  • Artist Talk: Sunday, August 21, 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM
  • Closing Reception: Sunday, September 25, 6:00 PM – 7:00 PM

DC Arts Center (DCAC) is the only institution solely dedicated to fostering underrepresented artists in the greater Washington, D.C., area. We believe that by encouraging artists of all types and all levels to pursue their passion, community transformation is possible. Located in the heart of Washington, DC’s vibrant Adams Morgan neighborhood, DCAC operates a small arts facility that includes two art galleries, a 42-seat black box theater, and office space. Founded in 1989 as an accessible alternative arts center in response to eroding support for local artists, DCAC has since become a hub of creativity in the visual and performing arts, receiving local, national, and international attention. Artists of all types, including poets, painters, actors, storytellers, sculptors, and performance artists, have been drawn to DCAC from as close as around the corner to as far as from other continents.