Students reflect on loss of art teacher

Fine Arts teacher Bruno Baran instructs  Julie Kraus, class of 13. Baran was often known to help and always be available for students, according to students.

Patriot file photo

Fine Arts teacher Bruno Baran instructs Julie Kraus, class of ’13. Baran was often known to help and always be available for students, according to students.

When art teacher Bruno Baran drove out of the faculty parking lot in his red pickup truck, he took with him his Mac computer, his large desk, and all the food he brought for his students. All that remains of him at the school are memories and a single painting he left behind for a student.

“I miss him,” senior art student Sunny Zhou said. This statement sums up the feelings of many students and faculty members that knew Baran.

“Art class doesn’t feel the same anymore and neither does the art wing,” senior AP Studio Art student Kate Runser said.  “I feel like I’ve lost my mentor. It’s hard to continue art without him.”

Baran was more than a mentor to students; he was a friend. “You [felt] some relationship with Baran beyond teacher and student, more friend or brother-like,” senior art student Henry Huang said.

According to Huang, Baran took the time to get to know each and every student in his classes on a personal level.

“[Mr. Baran] would always ask you how you are doing. Everyone always does that, but he truly wanted to know what was going on with you and what he could do to help,” junior art student Stephanie Imbierowicz said.

The art wing was a place of solace for many students, and Baran’s room was a big part of that. “Whenever I was upset and had an off mod I would go to his room. He would give me advice [and] a hug when I needed one,” senior AP Studio Art student Kelley Reilley said.

According to Baran’s students, his quirky and enthusiastic personality never failed to brighten everyone’s day either. “If someone was [in a bad mood], he would bring them up. You know when someone walks into the room and your day is brightened? That’s what he was like,” Imbierowicz said.

Aside from his uplifting personality, Baran knew the key to happiness: food. Sometimes Baran would bring in a gigantic pile of donuts from the Bel Air Bakery for his students. “Little things like that could really turn someone’s day around for the better,” senior AP Studio Art Student Faith Ensor said.

During class, Baran would often work on his own pieces along with the students. He was an inspiration to many of his students, including Reilley. “He was really passionate about art. He would talk about it to the point that we laughed at him for how into it he got,” Reilley said.

The combination of teaching and art was the perfect fit for Baran. “The saying is that when you do a job you love, you’ll never work a day in your life. Mr. Baran exemplifies this saying perfectly because he loved painting and teaching about art,” Ensor said.

Not only do students feel strongly about Baran, according to many of them it was clear how much he loved being at JC. “At the Open House whenever a new person would walk in the door to the art wing, he greeted them by saying that when he came to John Carroll it was like he died and went to heaven. He really did love this school,” Reilley said.

“Nothing will be the same,” Imbierowicz said.

Kelly Foulk is a News Editor for The Patriot and