PITTSBURGH—A chance encounter between Baron Batch, founder of Studio A.M., and Michael Sexauer, vice president for sales at the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, at a pop-up art event on the South Side this summer has led to a season-long artistic collaboration between the two organizations.
“I fell in love with Pittsburgh because of organizations like the Pittsburgh Symphony who are open to creative collaboration. A few years ago I would have never imagined that I would be live painting with the orchestra but of course things change, and thankfully for the better,” said Batch. “It is an honor to live in the city of Pittsburgh during this time of renaissance in the arts community, and my team of creatives and I am pleased to help take part in the city’s redevelopment. Pittsburgh is changing.”
Batch, a Pittsburgh-based artist, entrepreneur and former Pittsburgh Steelers running back who retired from the NFL in 2013, is the founder of Angry Man Salsa and the multimedia marketing agency Studio A.M., based in Homestead.
The creative partnership between Batch and the Pittsburgh Symphony began with a live painting event at the symphony’s opening gala, For Your Eyes Only, in September. Batch created a painting on the spot at the event’s cocktail hour, which was later auctioned that evening. (Studio A.M. produced a brief video of the event that can be seen at http://youtu.be/rVegGH3QeTs.)
Batch will make his next appearance with the Pittsburgh Symphony at the Fiddlesticks Family Concert Presented by Macy’s, “Fall Festival,” on October 18. Batch will do a live painting of Fiddlesticks during the Discovery Time Adventures at 10 a.m., prior to the start of the concert at 11 a.m.
In November, Batch will be featured during the PNC Pops “Sci-Fi Spectacular” weekend on November 13-16. He will attend the Jack Heinz Society Happy Hour on November 13, providing a Studio A.M. D.J. for the event, which includes a social hour and access to the concert rehearsal that evening. During the concerts on November 14, 15 and 16, Batch will paint live in the lobby of Heinz Hall prior to the concerts and during intermission. The paintings will fit the sci-fi theme of the weekend and will be displayed from stage at the end of the concert.
Finally, Batch will help the Pittsburgh Symphony produce a Bach tribute video for the worldwide Bach in the Subways event in March (bachinthesubways.com). Bach in the Subways started in 2010 as a celebration of Bach’s birthday — his 330th birthday is March 21, 2015 — and to expose more of the public to live classical music. Along with the video, Studio A.M. and the Pittsburgh Symphony will work together to promote the March 20 & 22 BNY Mellon Grand Classics performances, “Bach’s Coffeehouse,” as part of the celebration of the composer’s life.
“Collaboration provides the opportunity to create something new and unique,” said Jim Wilkinson, president and CEO of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. “Working with Baron Batch and Studio A.M. this year is a very exciting opportunity, and we are looking forward to the new and creative experiences it will provide our patrons.”