Home / Tag: Reginald Baylor
05.10.2009 | | Posted at 12:00 AM
By Peggy Sue
What does an artist's assistant actually do? The Renaissance and Modern Art Masters employed assistants, using workshops to help them complete their paintings and sculpture. Reginald Baylor, a well-known Milwaukee artist, would ask himself: "How in the world do they have this much work? How do they do it? There's no way to reach the magnitude of that beauty unless there's a team." With the answer to that statement, Baylor leaped into a fine art career full time and hired Heidi Witz four years ago. They connected through her Uncle, by happenstance Baylor's fourth grade principal who exclaimed to him he needed to become an artist at the tender age of ten. When Witz moved to Milwaukee the three of them (Witz, her uncle, and Baylor), through destiny, met at the same church and the rest is history. Baylor and Witz explain the collaboration that began four years ago, and continues at the lower lever studio in the Third Ward's Marshall building where they both work on Baylor's art full time. Q: Heidi, what's your background for being an artist's assistant? A: I have been sewing all my life⎯started out as a seamstress at age three, and began winning contests at the Minnesota State Fairs. Eventually I graduated from the University of Minnesota in Fashion Design. But I had a difficult time with fashion illustration because I couldn't draw. So I worked in the workrooms, on construction. Yet it made me hungry for creativity when I moved to Milwaukee. Q: How did this help you become Reggie's assistant? A: W: I met Reggie at church, and found out he needed someone to help him. Within five minutes I was so excited because I had seen his work at the Haggerty in 2004. He had a show there with his brother, Trenton, who does furniture sculpture. Then the first thing I learned was his technique�Learning how to bend the tape for Reggie's paintings. B: This is very important for my paintings, because they are all drawn first and then taped to get a very clean line. She did it perfectly the very first time, mitering the corners. Because of her sewing techniques, she sees the attention to detail. Q: And the sewing techniques relate to Baylor's paintings? A: W: The blueprint of Reggie's work looks like fabric, and his lines are like stitches. So we fit perfectly. B: Because I now had two hands I could do twice as much work, use twice as much detail. An average painting takes 300 hours. My work was more minimal until I had an assistant. These memories are so great, and that was four years ago. Q: So, explain exactly how this works� A: W: I was so afraid to begin the first one, to put the color on

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