Dear MKE Film Series Continues with Arts Focus
What is it about Milwaukee that makes it a hotbed of inspiration for creative talent like artist and former truck driver Reginald Baylor? The second of twelve films in the innovative Dear MKE series features the story of Baylor, and how Milwaukee’s vibrant artistic community encouraged him to realize his dreams.
Brought up in Milwaukee and developing his pop art style at Homestead High School and the University of Wisconsin- Oshkosh, Baylor later moved to the West Coast arts scene, where he worked “behind the scenes” in galleries and installing exhibits. Baylor’s unlikely road to pop art success included a return to the Midwest and twelve years as a truck driver to make ends meet, while continuing to hone his skills and sell his work. An exclusive residency in an artistic community in Illinois first sparked the idea of actually earning a living as a working artist, and soon after, Milwaukee’s legendary Pfister Hotel came calling, naming Reginald Baylor their first Artist-in-Residence in 2009.
Working out of his visitor-friendly, first-floor studio in the Historic Third Ward, Baylor is in the vanguard of artists in Milwaukee’s creative economy who are putting the city on the map as a flourishing new arts and culture scene rivaling those of the East and West Coasts.
Reginald Baylor believes that Milwaukee has its own voice, its own brand of Milwaukee esthetics. “My success is not isolated, but part of a larger movement. I have progressed as Milwaukee’s creative economy has progressed.”
In a world so easily explored through the internet, Baylor maintains that creatives, not unlike residents and visitors, are looking for communities again. “We really like our city and our communities – from the Creative Professional community to the farm-to-table movement to the neighborhoods – and visitors and newcomers pick up on that vibe.”
Dear MKE is an innovative 12-part film series that seeks to dispel old perceptions and paint a picture of the many facets of Milwaukee as told through the stories of Milwaukeeans. Enthusiastic feedback on the kick-off film, which made its debut at the Milwaukee Film Festival, has generated interest in upcoming films that will be launched over the next year.
Under the direction of VISIT Milwaukee and Hollywood producer Jack Turner, Dear MKE is a first-ever collaborative project bringing together an all-Milwaukee creative team. The remaining documentaries will be released over the next several months, including four that will be chosen as a result of a Dear MKE story contest.
The Dear MKE Film Series is a community collaboration that includes the following sponsors and partners.
Sponsors Production Sponsor Media Sponsors
VISIT Milwaukee Jack Turner 88.9 Radio Milwaukee
Spirit of Milwaukee OnMilwaukee.com
Marcus Theaters Lamar Outdoor Advertising
Partners: AboutFace Media, Buzz Monkeys, Inc., Creative Alliance Milwaukee, Hanson Dodge Creative, Jigsaw and Milwaukee Film Festival.
People: Reginald Baylor
Neighborhood: Historic Third Ward
Business: 88Nine Radio Milwaukee, AboutFace Media, Buzz Monkeys, Inc., Creative Alliance Milwaukee, Hanson Dodge Creative, Jigsaw, LLC, Lamar Advertising Company, Marcus Corp, Master Lock, Milwaukee Film Festival, OnMilwaukee.com, Spirit of Milwaukee, Summerfest, VISIT Milwaukee