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Artist Reggie Baylor Offers Unique Spin on Traditional Coloring Books

Credit Courtesy of Reginald Baylor

Milwaukee artist Reggie Baylor has made a name for himself as both a painter and the creator of public art projects. He’s deeply committed to his home town of Milwaukee.

He’s in the process of moving his studio to the Sherman Park neighborhood, and just released his sixth coloring book. Baylor started creating coloring books six years ago. His latest book, Retrospective​, is a look back at more than 20 years of his work. 

"I think what separates my books from ones that are on the market place now, are these images are from actual paintings. So the paintings were done first, the colors was removed to create a coloring book," says Baylor. 

But the books are about more than marketing a product. They offer people an opportunity to engage with Baylor's art on a deeper level.

"A person participating or interacting with this book has a more intimate experience with the artist," says Baylor. "To me it's similar to the notes on a music page. The composer writes the notes, the musician creates it, but the audience or the participant can copy it or play back that song. My coloring books is an opportunity to play back my artwork."

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Bonnie North
Bonnie joined WUWM in March 2006 as the Arts Producer of the locally produced weekday magazine program Lake Effect.