Carnegie Mellon University

Baron Batch

March 13, 2017

Artist Puts a Face on CMU Film Festival

Shilo Rea
  • Director of Public Relations
  • 412-268-6094

By Danielle Lehmann

This year’s International Film Festival, titled “Faces of Identity,” has a face of its own. 

Commissioned by festival director Jolanta Lion, local artist Baron Batch has created a piece of artwork that portrays this year’s festival theme. In four weeks the former Pittsburgh Steelers running back produced a sculpture of an elongated, curved face about six feet tall that he thinks will be somewhat of a mirror to those viewing it.

“How you respond to what you see is actually a reflection of you,” Batch said.

The sculpture’s surface is painted to look like the universe with a web of colorful string carefully stretched over its features. The eyes are circular mirrors, silver candle tops with a new reflective purpose.

“When I was asked to make a piece of art that reflected my views on what identity is, as an artist, that was something I took very seriously,” said Batch.

"As I kept searching for what I believe identity to be I realized that I didn’t know," he said. "I came to the conclusion that identity is a certain amount of the unknown."

Batch’s creation has been moved to different public spaces on campus and has intrigued students to take a closer look. Some have discovered the message on the back: “identity is a self reflection of chaos.”

Lauralei Kraski, assistant director of the festival, called the sculpture an “inspiration of thoughtfulness.”

Batch will host a viewing of his artwork and a Q&A at 7 p.m., Friday, March 31 in the Cohon University Center’s McConomy Auditorium. The film festival runs March 23 through April 9.

View the complete festival schedule, watch the films' trailers and reserve tickets

Learn more about the 2017 festival