For Daniel Wickerham ’09 (Painting B.F.A.) and Malcolm Lomax ’09 (Painting B.F.A.), their latest installation project serves as a conduit from the past to the present. Neighborhood Lights artists-in-residence in the Station North neighborhood — part of the Light City Baltimore 2017 festival — the pair are showing how issues the city dealt with in the 1970s are still being dealt with today.
“It almost like a wormhole that moves through the time periods,” Lomax said of the video testimonial projections that serve as an ode to Odell’s — a club that foregrounded disco and house music in Baltimore from 1976 to 1992. Once a beacon of exclusivity, fashion and queer culture, it’s now an abandoned, stripped, graffiti-covered space.
The duo behind the project, “DUOX4Odell’s: You’ll Know If You Belong,” is seeking to extend the legacy of Odell’s to bring to the forefront the issues that continue to exist for “marginalized behavior.”
“The setting fits like a perfect puzzle piece for our work, as a way of thinking about exclusivity,” Wickerham said. Their practice takes aim at the marginal and allowing them to take center stage. “By focusing on them, we are bringing dignity to that that is less known.”
“We sort of grew up in Station North because of MICA,” Wickerham said, explaining their interest in highlighting the culture of the community. This is the second year they are working on Light City projects and the excitement around art throughout the city is something they are proud of. “There is an awareness in Baltimore of art now that there wasn’t as much” when we were in school, Wickerham said.
The two painting majors turned to digital and 3D installations shortly after graduating and have worked together since. “It’s creating a painting through digital work,” Lomax said of their exhibitions.
“You really have to invent opportunities for yourself,” he said of what he learned at MICA and as an artist, and that they have done since. Formerly known as DUOX, Wickerham and Lomax have exhibited extensively throughout the U.S., including recent exhibitions in Brooklyn and Los Angeles, and they were the 2015 winners of the $25,000 Janet and Walter Sondheim Artscape Prize.