Steelers' Baron Batch takes a run at art world
By Chris Ramirez
Published: Thursday, Oct. 11, 2012, 9:01 p.m.
Steelers running back Baron Batch has made a living dodging tackles and charging end zones, but now he's finding a new groove as an artist.
Batch has never taken an art class in his life, but he is set to host his first art show next month at Pavillion X, Downtown. Proceeds benefit the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.
“I've always been passionate about art and about helping people ... but I never thought six months ago I'd have an art show,” says the second-year player.
Batch, 24, says he's always been creative, but took to painting a few months ago while rehabbing from a knee injury he suffered last year.
The walls of Batch's home were bare when he moved in. But instead of rushing out to buy some from an art house or big-box retailer, he painted his own decor and framed it. Batch then found himself with more time on his hands last season when he tore an anterior cruciate ligament in training camp.
“I needed a hobby,” he says. “I figured it can't be that hard, so I just tried it.”
Don't go thinking that because Batch, who made the 53-man squad over the summer, lives his life between hash marks that all of his artwork reflects his days on the gridiron.
It's not so.
His portfolio of paintings includes landscapes, the Roberto Clemente Bridge and portraits. And no Baron Batch collection would be complete without depictions of his trademark bow ties.
A few people have begun to notice his prowess with a paintbrush.
“It's inspired work,” says Sherry Jo Matt, who got the ball rolling with the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation to set up the fundraiser. “He captures a lot. So much that you wouldn't think he's only been at this for a couple months.”
Painting isn't his first voyage into the art world. It's just the latest.
While in college, Batch bought his first camera, a Canon 7D, and has evolved into a skilled photographer. His portfolio, much of which appears on his personal website — baronbatch.com — features images that chronicle his trips to Haiti, Hawaii and Belize, along with iconic shots of PNC Park and other Pittsburgh landmarks.
Batch recalls favoring picture books and National Geographic magazines growing up in West Texas and says he got into photography about four years ago.
Pittsburgh doubles as an artistic muse, he says.
“At first, when I started (painting), there were things I'd see that inspired me — bridges, rivers, hills.
“They were just interesting because it was so different from where I grew up,” Batch says. “The more I got into it ... the more I kept up with it.
“Pittsburgh's a real cool, creative place in general,” he says. “Just being here around creative people helps.”
Chris Ramirez is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at email@example.com or 412-380-5682
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Starkey: Steelers know when to say goodbye
- Analysis: Kesler remains on Penguins’ radar as Shero looks bring back ‘Big 3’ formula
- Pirates’ big risk with pitch-heavy draft focus might soon pay off
- Ukrainians steel to resist Russian aggression
- Ex-Colts executive Polian: Approach free agency with caution
- With so many needs, Steelers can ill afford to miss in draft
- Penguins GM Shero’s deadline deals: Addition by subtraction
- Experts: Anti-vaccine view a peril
- Greensburg bishop’s time at helm draws to a close
- IUP students have raucous early St. Patrick’s Day celebration
- Steelers defense doesn’t make the grade in 2013 review