Carnegie Mellon University
March 16, 2017

Artist Puts a Face on CMU Film Festival

By Danielle Lehmann

Baron Batch

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,” Batch said.

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

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.

View the festival schedule, watch the film’s trailers and reserve tickets.