My name is Sean Beauford, I'm the curator for the creative agency, Studio AM. People often ask what we do, and the best answer I can give is: everything. Studio AM is a team of creatives who work to change Pittsburgh for the better. We work out of Homestead in a building that is part art studio, part office, and part showroom. We host parties, art shows, intimate concerts, and most recently, Sunday brunches. We work with other companies, providing a range of services from marketing to interior design to conceptualizing events and providing entertainment.
Studio AM is a team of young men, all in our twenties, and maybe the most important thing we do is mentor youth, and connect with them through art.
What I've discovered in this past year is that art is a tool more than anything else. It's a tool to speak without words; it's a tool to connect people of different backgrounds; and it's a tool to teach. Art has given me an opportunity to directly influence the lives of young children in a positive way. Art has made it possible for me to be a role model, which is something I take seriously.
Greensburg Salem teachers, Dave Vuick and Jeremy Lenzi brought a few students to Studio AM for us to speak with them. Read Mr. Lenzi's recap here.
Working with children is something we're very passionate about at Studio AM, directly partnering with several Pittsburgh area schools as mentors and collaborators on short and long term projects. In the past few months, we've painted and spoken with a couple hundred kids. The nature of our interactions vary depending on the age of the student, but whether it's giving painting lessons, or giving them advice on how to make a living in art and business, each interaction is meaningful and is often more about life than art. I love collaborating with young artists because their passion and ambition is always pure. It's our job as adults, as working artists, to encourage children, and make them aware of possibilities. Children are the future, and it's up to adults to be patient and guide them in the right direction.
Baron Batch and I at the Dream Center in Lubbock, TX, where Baron gave painting lessons.
In October, artist Baron Batch and I visited the Western Pennsylvania School for the Deaf, where the art teacher, Alice Mentzer, has been educating students about Baron and his style of art (pop-x). As we were walking to the classroom, we saw in the hallway, artwork from each student, in the same style as Baron's. It turns out that upon being introduced to Baron's artwork, they discovered his painting of a Lion (also their school mascot) entitled "Silence Roars", and in that piece, they found inspiration. To learn that was moving to say the least. It's knowing that art can have that kind of impact on the lives of people that makes me want to never stop working.
Baron, Ms. Mentzer and I with the 8th grade art class at Western PA School for the Deaf.