Baron Batch is a human of many talents…Artist, Author, Dreamer, Innovator, Entrepreneur, his work has inspired the city of Pittsburgh and beyond. Personally, I have had the honor of considering him my friend and neighbor for the last four years.
Those who had the privilege of visiting Baron Batch’s original Studio A.M. in Homestead know how delightfully exciting this new project is. There was a particular sense of magic and togetherness within the walls of his old gallery that I’m sure will be found again at ‘The Residency.’ Baron’s energy is magnifying, it drew people from all walks of life to bask in his colorful artwork and thoughtful, inspiring lifestyle. What was most impactful, though, is the sense of camaraderie and friendship that developed while appreciating the creative works. It didn’t matter if you were the wealthiest person in Pittsburgh or if you only had a smile to share…Studio A.M. was an inspiring space for all.
The Residency is a collaboration project between Baron, the digital agency WH Digital, and SouthSide Works’ new ownership SomeraRoad. Their goal is to open an interactive gallery space with a focus on community programming. SomeraRoad’s desire to create a space for true community use resonated with Batch, a long time Southside resident. “I live and work in the Southside. I want to see people doing good things and creating good things here. If I can help that along and bring everyone together in the process, that’s what I’m all about,” says Batch. “By partnering in this way that we’re also creating a blueprint for a new kind of placemaking and community building and that’s what is really compelling for me. In general, on a national level, city planning needs to have more of a cultural focus – it’s sorely lacking. We’re flipping the script on how people engage and connect with these types of spaces. This is the new way.”
The Residency will host rotating shows of Batch’s artworks and a series of community-driven, experienced-based events. “One day you can walk in, roll up your sleeves and paint with your neighbors the next day you could swing by for an exhibition and live music. We’re just doing what feels right at the time, and that in and of itself is what will keep it interesting,” says Batch.
I’ve worked by Baron’s side as his Brand Manager and I’ve been his Southside neighbor for almost half a decade. It would be a challenging feat to find someone more passionate about our neighborhood than he is. Fans, friends, and new faces will have the privilege of experiencing his creativity once again at The Residency. The Southside is poised to become a true center for community, culture, and innovation and I am thrilled to see what comes next.This content was provided by a local, independent contributor to Made in PGH, a lifestyle blog.