Thursday, May 28, 2009

Thanks Twitter Posse! Have a FREE Garden Party Ticket!

I think it's safe to say that we owe a big THANK YOU to our extremely awesome base of online supporters for all their help during the past year. Just off the top of my head, this project, this project, this project, and especially this project would not have been as successful as they were had it not been for the awesomeness of the MF Twitter Posse and the MF FaceBook Mob. So as a small token of appreciation, we came up with a cool way to say thank you to some of our most loyal MF online supporters.

Many of you know about the MF's Urban Garden Party. You know that it's the must-attend, anything goes event of the summer where 1,000+ art lovers come out to have a once-a-year experience while enjoying the finest food and drink Pittsburgh has to offer. You also know that tickets aren't cheap ($90) because it's an important fundraiser for the museum. Through this one event, we earn approximately 10% of our annual operating budget. And this year's event is shaping up to be something special, complete with top-secret performances and unbelievable surprises.

So here's the deal. Sometime next week we're opening a block of 25 FREE Garden Party tickets which will be available to our Twitter Posse at a secret URL on a first come, first served basis. The secret URL will be leaked on our Twitter stream sometime during the week of 6/1 - 6/5. The first 25 to register get into the event FREE. That's it. No strings...100% royal treatment.

You can join the MF Twitter Posse HERE to receive the URL in real-time as it's released.

We'll also publish links to the 25 winners' Twitter streams here on the MF blog in advance of the event, so those who are unable to attend or live out of town can follow along with attendees' live Tweets and Twitpics.

Finally, and again, one more thank you to those of you who, during the last year, have helped the MF cause by re-tweeting, sharing links, posting e-flyers and attending events. We appreciate everything you've done and continue to do.

Read All Posts by Jeffrey

Sizzling Summer Deals in the MF Shop!

The month of June is just around the corner and summer is starting to heat up here at the Mattress Factory. Starting next week, the MF Shop will be offering several amazing deals I'd like to share with you. My personal favorite is the bag sale, which will include most of our in-stock bags at a discount of 15%. There are many different bags to choose from including MF messanger bags, recycled bags, and felted laptop bags. Because most of the bags are one-of-a-kind (like the Vy & Elle bag made from recycled billboards you see here), they are only available in-store. The sale will be on until the end of the month, so give me a call or come come visit me in the shop to SAVE BIG on some of our most unique bags.

Also, we are offering a promotion for our MF catalog collection. Through the end of June, both ten-year catalogs (1980-1989 and 1990-1999) will be heavily discounted when purchased as a package. The two paperback catalogs, regularly $59 combined, are now on sale for $50 and include a complimentary New Installations, Artists in Residence: Cuba catalog from our show in 2005. [ MORE INFO ] The hardcover catalogs also include a Cuba catalog and are being sold together for $100, regularly $115. [ MORE INFO ] These are really great coffee table books and cover all Mattress Factory installations from the museum's first two decades.

And as if all that isn't enough, for a limited time, Mattress Factory logo magnets will be $.99 with ANY purchase in the MF Shop. So get online, stop in the museum, or give the Shop a call (412.231.3169) to get some great deals!

Read All Posts by Erin

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Arts & Citizenship by Pittsburgh Filmmakers

A few weeks ago, Mattress Factory Co-Directors Barbara Luderowski and Michael Olijnyk posted a call to action regarding the PA Arts funding situation. The battle for the Arts in the state of Pennsylvania is far from over, and our good friends over at Pittsburgh Filmmakers have produced this great video featuring a diverse cross-section of the Pittsburgh arts community (Barbara and Michael included). Please share this video far and wide, and let's stand together for the arts in Pennsylvania.

Read All Posts by Jeffrey

Friday, May 15, 2009

STRANGE DEMOCRACY: An Evening with Guillermo Gómez-Peña

One of the (many) great things about Pittsburgh is it's vibrant art community. The Mattress Factory is fortunate in that we partner fairly regularly with some pretty amazing sister organizations to bring equally amazing artists and performances to town. One such partnership is the upcoming collaboration between ArtUp, Bricolage, the Three Rivers Arts Fest and the Mattress Factory to bring La Pocha Nostra to Pittsburgh for a series of performances and educational workshops.

There are a number of events happening around town in association with the partnership, all of which can be found HERE (.pdf after the jump). But naturally, we're most excited about STRANGE DEMOCRACY: An Evening with Spoken Word Brujo Guillermo Gómez-Peña, which happens here at the MF on Sunday evening, 5/31. (Add to FaceBook)

Guillermo Gómez-Peña (Photo by Zach Gross)
Guillermo Gómez-Peña photographed by Zach Gross, 2007

In his new solo-performance, STRANGE DEMOCRACY, post-Mexican writer and performance artist Guillermo Gómez-Peña deals with the end of the Bush era and articulates the formidable challenges facing Obama. He also denounces the anti-immigration hysteria and assaults the demonized construction of the US/Mexican border—a literal and symbolic zone lined with Minute Men, rising nativism, three-ply fences, globalization, and transnational identities.

To this effect, the "border artist extraordinaire" uses acid Chicano humor, hybrid literary genres, multilingualism, and activist theory as subversive strategies. Shifting between languages, Gómez-Peña morphs into various performance personae and bombards audiences with his infamous, border savvy techno-ideology, ethno-poetics and radical aesthetics. In this journey to the geographical and psychological outposts of Chicanismo, Gómez-Peña also reflects on identity, race, sexuality, pop culture, politics and the impact of new technologies in the post-911 era.

Gómez-Peña continues “to develop multi-centric narratives from a border perspective,” creating what critics have termed "Chicano cyber-punk performances" and “ethno-techno art.” During these performances cultural borders move to the center while the alleged mainstream is pushed to the margins and treated as exotic and unfamiliar, placing the audience members in the position of "foreigners" or "minorities in his performance country.

Read All Posts by Anna

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Photo Album | Gestures 12 Opening Reception

Last Friday evening, the twelfth installment in the Gestures Exhibition Series opened with a public reception at the MF annex gallery located at 1414 Monterey Street. Openings are always a great time as artists and MF staff get a chance to chat with visitors and members over fabulous food + drink and amazing artwork. Friday's event was no different, with several hundred art lovers turning out to celebrate the beginning of the show's run. Gestures: An Exhibition of Small Site-Specific Works runs through June 21, 2009

A big THANKS to Haley Harned for shooting the awesome photos of the opening below.

Gestures 12 Opening - 15

Gestures 12 Opening - 1Gestures 12 Opening - 2Gestures 12 Opening - 3Gestures 12 Opening - 4Gestures 12 Opening - 5Gestures 12 Opening - 6Gestures 12 Opening - 7
Gestures 12 Opening - 8Gestures 12 Opening - 9Gestures 12 Opening - 10Gestures 12 Opening - 11Gestures 12 Opening - 12Gestures 12 Opening - 13Gestures 12 Opening - 14
Gestures 12 Opening - 16Gestures 12 Opening - 17Gestures 12 Opening - 18

Read All Posts by Jeffrey

Friday, May 8, 2009

Stand Together for the Arts in Pennsylvania

Friends, Members, Fellow Arts Organizations & Advocates:

On May 6th the Pennsylvania Senate passed its version of the 2010 state budget (SB 850), which eliminates all state funding for the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission and the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. While the Mattress Factory and many other arts and culture organizations in Pennsylvania rely on this state funding for exhibitions and program support, this issue is not really about the money.

It’s about the gesture being made by some of our State officials that the arts do not deserve even the smallest level of support. To those legislators who have been vocal in their support for the arts, we thank you and appreciate your continued advocacy.

We are all aware of the global economic situation and how it affects all sizes of companies and organizations. And no one from the Pennsylvania arts community is disputing the appropriateness of cutting expenses and re-evaluating how dollars are spent. However, we are disputing the implied messages these budget cuts send to arts patrons, donors, Pennsylvania residents and the public at large.

The elimination of funding for the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission and the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts essentially says residents of the Commonwealth can do without the programs and organizations made possible by these funds. Essentially, the arts don’t matter.

The arts do matter, not only in this great state, but also throughout the world. Arts organizations provide measured impact on our both our local and state economies. They are a driving force for cultural tourism and the educational benefits arts organizations provide through state funding are vital.

While the choice to revoke funding for arts and cultural organizations disheartens us (as I’m sure it does you), the budget process isn’t complete. The Senate bill now goes with the House of Representatives' proposal into what will likely be a contentious conference committee before its final passage in the General Assembly. The House Bill (HB1416) includes funding for both the PCA and the PHMC, so it is important for anyone who cares about arts and culture to continue to communicate with their legislators about this issue.

So our message is simple. If you live in Pennsylvania, please contact your representatives and ask them to support the inclusion of a $14M appropriation for arts and culture funding in the FY09-10 Pennsylvania State budget.



If you’ve already sent an email, make a phone call. If you’ve already made a phone call, ask a friend to stand with you for this cause. With your help, we can speak in a unified and undeniable voice. Let’s stand together for the arts.

With unity,

Barbara_Signature_Web Michael_Signature_Web
Barbara Luderowski
Co-Director & President
Michael Olijnyk

Barbara Luderowski, President & Co-Director POSTED BY BARBARA
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Monday, May 4, 2009

Mother's Day at the MF

As we are all aware, Mother's Day is rapidly approaching this Sunday (YIKES!). If you're at all like me, time has certainly crept up on you and now you're scrambling to make sure your Mom is well-taken-care-of this weekend. Well, we here at the MF have a few offerings designed to help make your Mom's special day easy for you and art-filled for her!

Bring Mom to the MF this Sunday!

1) FREE Admission and Mimosas for Mom! Bring your Mom to the museum this Sunday, May 10th, and she gets in FREE. That's right, all Moms attending with their child(ren) get in FREE. And if that's not enough of a deal, the BoxSpring Café will be serving brunch from 1:00PM - 4:00PM, at which Mom will be treated to a complimentary Mimosa!

2) Unique Gifts for the Mom Who Has Everything! I know the perfect gift for Mom can be very hard to find. The MF Shop has some great new items that would make fantastic gifts for any Mom this Mother's Day. We have some very fun recycled tote bags that would be perfect for summer trips to the beach (or maybe the Monongahela or Allegheny Rivers in our case!) or even just the grocery store. Our recycled totes make the perfect gift, as we are all trying to be a bit more eco-conscious in our everyday lives these days.

Paired with our Green Membership, you could make it an environmentally-friendly Mother's Day! We also have soy candles, coffee table books, ceramic spring vases, and some other great things for Mom. Gift cards are also available at any chosen amount. So whether you're looking for the ultimate gift or even just a nice card, come by and see us – the MF Shop is open during regular museum hours and during select events.

Read All Posts by Erin