Adam Carr (left) and artist Reginald Baylor teamed up for
Typeface, a public art project conceived by ART Milwaukee. Both
Baylor, who grew up in Milwaukee, and Carr, a producer for
88Nine Radio Milwaukee, are well-connected to the urban
neighborhoods represented in the project.
The public art
installations in four Milwaukee neighborhoods arenít just innovative
creative works, they are meaningful expressions of those who live
Created on and
around foreclosed and boarded up buildings in Burnham Park, Sherman
and Washington parks, Harambee and Lindsay Heights, the artwork,
funded by a Joyce Foundation grant, is the result of hours of
community conversations in order to create works that reflect the
culture, challenges and hope that lives there.
known as Typeface, was conceived by Angela Damiani, executive director
of ART Milwaukee, and nationally known artist Reginald Baylor, who
were inspired by the Joyce Awardís call for community engagement.
"If youíre going to paint a mural or produce a play, itís not
enough to just do those things, you have to have really deep and
meaningful community engagement," Damiani says. The Joyce
Foundation funds projects that improve the quality of life in
communities throughout the Great Lakes region.
concept was simple: Get words from people who live in neighborhoods,
take those words, develop them into artwork and put them in
neighborhoods," says Adam Carr, a storyteller and media producer
involved with the project.
is conversation," Baylor says of Carr. "He was responsible
for going to the barbershops and the picnics and the schools and the
Pieces of those
conversations would be incorporated into each installation. "We
decided that Reggie would use the words of the community as his
inspiration," Damiani says. "He wanted to use the words the
same way you would use symbols and have the typeface be the art."
"We knew we
were just going to take what was said and not try to change or
interpret what we think should be said," Baylor says. Carr adds:
"We knew what we were capturing wasnít THE conversation, it was
A conversation. Thereís so much more beyond what we captured. We did
our best to get a healthy scoop of whatís there."
To read a
digital archive of the community conversations and see additional
photos of the finished works, go to