Wednesday, August 3, 2016

RECAP // Coffee Date with Lauren Kalman

Last Saturday, Mattress Factory members met in the Mattress Factory Café to chat with exhibiting artist Lauren Kalman over coffee, bread and tea. Lauren’s piece, Strangers to the Garden, is one of four installations in the Factory Installed show currently exhibited in the 1414 Monterey Street satellite gallery.

Once members made their way out of the rain and into the café, everyone had their fill of breads from BreadWorks Bakery and caffeinated with coffee from Commonplace Coffeehouse and tea from Arnold’s Tea. Lauren gave an overview of her piece and the idea behind her current series But if the Crime is Beautiful… which led to a lively discussion about how she sees jewelry and adornment in general, and how that influences her work. After learning about the process behind creating the 30,000+ gold foil kudzu leaves in her work, which utilized 3D printing during its pressing, we talked about technology and its growing role in even traditional forms of art, such as metalwork and jewelry making.

The highlight of the event was our trip over to 1414 Monterey to see Strangers to the Garden with Lauren. For many of the members, it was their first time seeing the piece. Being able to talk with the artist while taking in her piece in was a great experience for everyone and provided perspective for our discussion in the café.

Members, don't forget to RSVP to join us for the next Coffee Date with Kevin Clancy on Saturday, August 20. We hope to see you there! 

Friday, July 29, 2016

MF Member Summer Guide

Members — don't miss out on the special events we're offering this summer! As part of the benefits of MF Membership, we offer special programming designed with our members in mind.

Select Saturday mornings are reserved for Coffee Dates. Start the weekend off with coffee and conversation with Factory Installed artists — FREE for members! Have questions about the pieces that are currently on exhibit? Use this unique opportunity to meet and converse with the artists themselves about it, face-to-face.

Previous Coffee Date with Factory Installed artist Bill Smith

Feel free to bring along non-member guests and/or friends who have paid for the day's admission! (They'll thank you later.)

Upcoming Coffee Dates
July 30: Lauren Kalman
August 20: Kevin Clancy

Not much of a morning person? Check out our all-new series ART AND... taking place on selected Thursdays from 6-8 pm. Raise a glass with us in an intimate evening, featuring an exclusive behind-the-scenes look with exhibiting artists. More than just a lecture, this programming series is designed to get you up close to the works — and to the artists who make them. RSVP to as space is limited!

Upcoming ART AND...
August 18: Kevin Clancy
September 15: Dennis Maher
October 6: Mohammed Musallam

While you're in the galleries, make sure to stop by the MF Shop and Café to use your membership 10% discount! We have a great curated collection of one-of-a-kind limited edition artists prints and books, museum catalogs, MF logowear and unique housewares for you to choose from. And due to popular demand, we've now expanded our hours to six days a week. So now you can enjoy our delicious summer menu, with soup, salads, sandwiches and entrees from Coca Café, every day the museum is open. Or just drop by when you have the time — museum admission is not required to shop or dine!

These are just some of the experiences and benefits that you, as a Member, can enjoy at the Mattress Factory this summer. We're always looking to expand on the opportunities that we offer you in exchange for your valued support.

If you're not a Member yet and don't want to miss, join today and be a part of the art!

On View This Summer

Spend your summer at the Mattress Factory! There's plenty to see in our galleries, and we don't want you to miss here's a short guide of what's currently on view here at MF.

The Mattress Factory is home to a growing permanent collection of installation art — from the ever-popular Repetitive Vision (Yayoi Kusama) to the recently unveiled Acupuncture (Hans Peter Kuhn) sitting atop our roof. But don't forget to look for the more subtle installations hidden in the museum, like William Anastasi's minimalist wall drawings and Rolf Julius' music-playing terra cotta flowerpots.

Families and children in Yayoi Kusama's Repetitive Vision

Stop by to take a last look at Factory Installed at 500 Sampsonia Way, featuring the works of Lisa Sigal, Bill Smith and Rob Voerman, before it closes in early August.

Bill Smith, spherodendron, 2015

The works of David Bowen, Kevin Clancy, Lauren Kalman and Wendy Judge are also currently on view! The artists have completely transformed the galleries at 1414 Monterey Street with their own distinctive approach to the creative process. A few highlights: sliced mountains, space debris, cats, a money machine and gold leaves.

Kevin Clancy, IRIS_SIRI, 2016

As always, feel free to take pictures as you visit our galleries — and use #MattressFactory to share your photos with us!

Why not learn about the exhibitions as you visit? Drop in the museum for an interactive tour of our current exhibitions — it's FREE with museum admission! These tours are a treat, so please do stop by when you get the chance!

We are busier than ever this summer! If you're interested in learning more about what we do here or want to help out, we encourage you to volunteer. We're always looking for a helping hand, and we would love to get to know our dedicated viewers and patrons personally. Feel free to drop come to the Volunteer Open House + Orientation for a talk + tour of MF.

Keep an eye out for more installation openings and events that may be coming soon! We want you to get the most out of your visits here. See you soon!

Friday, July 22, 2016

Family Activity Guide

School's out, but the learning doesn't have to stop!

We welcome families with children of all ages to explore and enjoy our room-sized installations. It is our goal for your family to have a fun experience with art! To supplement these visits, we also deliver outside opportunities for kids and students to keep on creating!

Mini-Factory is a series for little ones ages 3 to 5 with big ideas. These workshops combine children's story and play time, and each week is centered on multi-sensory themes from the everyday to learn about and explore! Mini-Factory takes places every other Saturday (the second and fourth of the month) from 10-11 am.

Upcoming Mini-Factorys
August 13: MOVEMENT
August 27: LOOK

Looking for an activity for the whole family? Delve into the galleries on a Saturday afternoon and finish off with an interactive ARTLab workshop from 1-4 pm. ARTLab is designed for visitors of all ages to play with project design and installations inspired by our exhibitions and artists. Expect to get your hands dirty and be ready for some fun collaboration! The program is FREE with admission.

Upcoming ARTLabs
August 6: Share An Imaginary Space (Factory Installed  Wendy Judge)
August 20: Light Lab (Factory Installed Kevin Clancy)

Learn, explore and create this summer at the Mattress Factory!

Thursday, July 21, 2016

RECAP // Factory 500: Behind-the-Scenes with Artist Dennis Maher

Artist Dennis Maher in his installation at 516 Sampsonia Way

Last Thursday, Factory 500 members got to go where no members have gone before...into the working mind of Buffalo artist Dennis Maher! Dennis has been working over at the Mattress Factory's 516 Sampsonia Way gallery building for the past month installing his upcoming exhibition set to open Saturday, August 13, 2016.

Still in an unfinished state, Factory 500 members were able to navigate through Dennis' intense work-in-progress, while picking his brain about his process. Dennis' installation spans all three floors of the Mattress Factory's 516 Sampsonia Way gallery building.

Following the tour, Factory 500 members and Dennis joined Co-Directors Barbara Luderowski and Michael Olijnyk upstairs in their 6th floor loft atop the Mattress Factory's main building. Factory 500 members were able to continue their conversation with Dennis, while enjoying a cocktail and browsing the Co-Directors' impressive art collection.

Photo of Co-Directors Barbara Luderowski & Michael Olijnyk's private loft on the 6th floor of the museum

For more information about Factory 500, please contact Caitlin Harpster, Fundraising & Donor Relations Officer, at or 412.231.3169.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Recap and Farewell: Teen Art Cooperative: January – May!

Emily Simons talks about the work of the Beehive Collective with Co-op members.

Since we last checked in, the Teen Art Cooperative has been up to so much! We started out the New Year with a compelling and informative workshop from Emily Simons of the Beehive Collective, followed by a captivating and collaborative visual workshop from current Mattress Factory artist Kevin Clancy. As Spring rolled in, we made our own jewelry pieces with local artist Catharine Luckett, and then had a lesson in visual literacy from the wonderful Joey Behrens.

Co-op members explore phenomenal properties of light and technology with Kevin Clancy.

During this time, we also worked hard on planning our second event UNHIBERNATE, which took place on April 1, 2016.

Flyer for Teen Art Co-op's event UNHIBERNATE. 

The event featured performances from local bands Chattel Tail, Chase the Monkey and Nox Boys, as well as visits from local organizations 1Hood, Bike Pittsburgh and our friend Emily Simons of the Beehive Collective. By the end of the night, our donation-based admission station had collected 254 pounds of canned and dry goods for the Northside Community Food Pantry!

UNHIBERNATE guests smile as balloons drop during the Nox Boys performance.

As the end of year drew closer, the Co-op members packed in some great, informative field trips to Radiant Hall Studios in Lawrenceville and Manchester Craftsmen's Guild on the North Side.

Artist Liz Rudnick speaks with Co-op members about her practice at Radiant Hall Studios in Lawrenceville.

We learned how to make and stitch our very own books with Sarah Croop, and we playfully experimented with movement and readymade sculptures with artist Jasen Bernthisel.

Co-op members work on their folding skills during a bookmaking workshop with artist Sarah Croop. The workshop took place inside of the Rob Voerman's installation Faculty on the fourth floor. 

Before we knew it, it was time for the Cooperative to think about its final event of the season. After some hard work and thoughtful planning, KALEIDOSCOPE emerged — a collective art show featuring the work of all 11 Co-op members. The evening also featured a musical performance by previous Co-op members Mogo as well as Voice Channel, a project created by a group from Winchester Thurston High School that is concerned with amplifying youth voices in the social justice realm.

KALEIDOSCOPE took place on Friday, May 27, and it was a wonderful way to bookend an amazing year. We can't wait to see what each of these Co-op members will create, tackle, and organize next...we are sure it will be stellar!

The Cooperative poses for a final group shot at their collective art show KALEIDOSCOPE, with Co-op member Janine Paulson's piece 'Table Cloths and Bed Sheets' as a backdrop. 

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

RECAP// Mini-Factory: SPACE

We all respond to SPACEs in a personal way, whether at an installation art museum, the playground, a drive-in movie or the comfort of home. Certain SPACEs speak to specific senses, enhancing the experiential quality of soaking in a SPACE.

At the Mattress Factory Museum, artists respond to SPACE with creative means. Imaginations envision and transform SPACE into a surreal, provocative and intellectual forums for viewers to experience, not just observe. Participation is key to activating installation art. Perhaps some are forever changed by one experience, while others may decide to dismiss and forget.

Our curious group of young artists in Mini-Factory learned about various SPACEs. How do artists respond to making, creating and installing art for a SPACE? How does that SPACE make us feel — joyful, crowded, surprised? It is this element which brands our memory with experiences.

As Mini-Factory discovered, no SPACE is too small, too big or too ordinary for artists.

Handrail is a favorite piece which always sparks a reaction; using simplicity and wit to surprise visitors, it reminds us art can be anywhere, at anytime, in any SPACE. Wendy Judge takes an outside SPACE and brings it inside. How did she accomplish bringing a landscape inside the gallery? What outside SPACE would you bring inside? Jene Highstein's Untitled confronts the visitor. Do you feel crowded? Uncomfortable? How do we navigate these situations? Art can evoke self-awareness from many different angles.

Wrapping up our hour together, Mini-Factory participants made their own SPACE using a box, a plethora of materials and their imaginations. What SPACE would you create?

Mini-Factory is an interactive learning program for children ages 3 - 5 years old and their parents or caregivers. Using contemporary installation art, parents and children will explore new ideas and concepts from the everyday world.

Join us at 10am on June 11th for INSTALL!