Milwaukee-based artist Reginald Baylor’s painting “On Duty, Not Driving” is part of the permanent collection at the Milwaukee Art Museum.
The piece is defined by bold lines and bright colors. The painting, like all of Baylor’s works, has a coloring book quality to it. So it is fitting that when Milwaukee Art Museum Store approached Baylor about creating jewelry to sell in the non-profit shop, he proposed doing an all-ages coloring book as well.
The result is a one-of-a-kind Milwaukee Art Museum book. Each page of the book is inspired by works from the museum’s permanent collection. Baylor was careful to respect the paintings and sculptures he re-created for the book. Still, the bold Baylor style is in each drawing. Baylor is appreciative the museum bought into his idea of creating a coloring book.
“I think it’s a testament to how the Milwaukee Art Museum honors its local creative communities,” said Baylor, as he stood before a work created by fellow Wisconsin artist Georgia O’Keefe.
“The Milwaukee Art Museum purchased an original painting. I mean that was major. I mean that’s as a child that’s the ultimate goal! It’s like winning Wimbledon. So that was it, and then the coloring book is as if they bought two pieces.”
The museum sees the benefit of working with a local artist too.
“We all benefit from the art museum collaborating with a Milwaukee artist like Reginald Baylor,” said the museum’s Donele Pettit-Mieding.
“The museum store is non-profit, so all of the proceeds from the sale of the coloring book go to benefit the museum’s exhibition and programming.”
Baylor has long been involved in efforts to bring art to the masses. “Reginald is unique in that collaboration and accessibility are central to the work that he does as an artist and a member of our community,” said Pettit-Mieding. “So, I think the coloring book is the perfect illustration of his character as an artist.”
The coloring book can be purchased in the museum store. The store has a limited number of collected editions too, each signed and numbered by Baylor. Copies of the book can also be purchased online at: MAM.org/store