Painter and poet Daryle Locko shares his post-graduation plans, favorite local haunts and more.
Daryle Locko’s bold designs blend the worlds of street art, fine art and functional/wearable art. We caught up with Locko — one of the featured artists at District Fray’s Art Out Loud Pride party on June 3 — to learn what he’s up to after graduation, how he got into making his art wearable and his favorite places to go in D.C.
District Fray: What’s next for you now that you’ve graduated St. John’s College?
Daryle Locko: On May 26, I moved into Selina in Union Market. I’m doing a work exchange where I’ll be working with Disco Mary and various other activities in exchange for a room, which I’m very excited about. It’s supposed to be a month long, although they’ve been talking to me about extending it, but I really want to go to New York in July. So it’s a lot of options. It’s like looking through a Rolodex and trying to pick the golden card, and each card seems golden.
How did your art practice transition to creating functional and wearable pieces?
I’ve always wanted to do fashion. Growing up, I watched my sister sew, and all the females in my family are very big on fashion. But it was sophomore year of college when I had to start paying my own tuition. I was like, “I can’t sell poetry. No one buys poetry.” And my best friends came together and they were like, “Daryle, what if you put your poetry on a bag?” And I was like, “Who the hell would buy a poem on a bag? It’s just a waste of money.” But I put one of my poems on the bag, and I ended up putting a doodle on a bag, and that was the beginning. And then, lo and behold: jeans, shirts, hats. They just adopted their way into my little art of ignorance.
Do you have any events, shows or collaborations coming up that you want people know about?
I am curating an exhibition involving color theory for a private client this fall. I don’t really know all the details about it yet, but it’s something in the works coming soon at a major place in D.C. And I’m supposed to be collaborating with Ron David on some clothes. I’m also co-hosting an event at Touchstone Gallery for queer artists and collectors on June 6, so I’m excited for that. I plan on doing pop-up art shows and I really want to do a fashion show at some point. I think that’s long overdue.
What are you planning for the District Fray Pride event on June 3?
Most of the things I’ll be doing at the event for District Fray will be a surprise to the guests, but I’ll also be selling my clothes and art as well as doing painting under the blacklight in hopes of elevating queer bodies.
Any favorite DMV spots you want to shout out?
I love Flash. It’s a club in Shaw. They’re very supportive of artists. I used to sell my art there at this little event called Sunday Love. Art Roving is amazing — the person who runs it is Abbey Alison McClain and she does artist residencies at Selina and she definitely helped me get connected into the D.C. art scene, which I appreciate a lot. And Touchstone Gallery — it’s like a mecca for D.C. art. I work there occasionally and I always meet other artists there and art collectors and art lovers. It’s very beautiful.
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