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Coloring with Reginald Baylor

Jan. 3, 2017
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Coloring used to be for kids. As an oddly engrossing activity that exercises motor control and provides an opportunity to “express oneself,” coloring was long heralded as an edifying way to quiet Junior for a spell. Now any number of technological devices will accomplish the same ends without the mess and hassle of all those vexatious parts. But coloring books aren’t obsolete just yet; only recently have we recognized the therapeutic character of coloring and thus its benefit for harried adults in late capitalist society. 

Milwaukee artist Reginald Baylor’s art is well-suited for transition from canvas to coloring book. With a style resembling psychedelic stained glass, the “coloring-book-ization” of Baylor’s work only requires the deletion of color. “Retrospective: Reginald Baylor Studio Coloring Book 1994-2015” is Baylor’s sixth coloring book in so many years. Beyond the meditative value of the activity, “Retrospective” also instills an appreciation for the chromatic possibilities of Baylor’s fractured figurations. The coloring book can be purchased from Baylor’s website, reginaldbaylorstudio.com.

“The Museum of Advice”

Woodland Pattern Book Center

720 E. Locust St.

Back in August, during the first annual Milwaukee Fringe Festival, local performance artist and poet Anja Notanja Sieger organized the “Advice Tent.” She, along with 26 self-styled existential experts, fielded 423 questions, which ran the gamut from silly (“Should I purchase an inflatable unicorn horn for the cats?”) to serious (“Should I get married on October 14?”). Thanks to “The Museum of Advice,” at the Woodland Pattern Book Center from Jan. 10-22, we can all benefit from the queries of others. A recital will be held at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 14, during which Advice Tent Advisors will share their favorite responses. 

“Just the Facts”

MIAD Frederick Layton Gallery

273 E. Erie St.

The Oxford Dictionary recently declared “post-truth” 2016’s Word of the Year. Now that the lexicographers have had their say, it’s time we got some artists’ input. “Just the Facts,” held Jan. 9 through March 4 at MIAD’s Layton Gallery, explores how exhibitions conceal tacit perspectives and politics. Artists Tony Matelli, Mark Dion, Beauvais Lyons, Diane Fox and Jennifer Angus present both narrative and non-narrative art that exposes the hidden agendas at work in the engineering of space and the presentation of art. A panel discussion with the artists, local curators and exhibition designers will be held at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 2 in the MIAD Student Union.

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