Tuesday, November 24, 2009

'Tis the Season for Families at the MF

This week we welcome the beginning of the 2009 holiday season. I really enjoy this time of year here at the museum because it's a popular time for families to visit. As an arts educator, watching children experience the artwork here at the MF is an amazing thing. Their enthusiasm, awe and eloquence describing their experience is continuing inspiration for me in my position as Director of Education.

Having said that, I'd like to invite you and your family to join us on the day after Thanksgiving (November 27th) for Family Day at the MF. Every year on Black Friday, the Mattress Factory offers an alternative to long shopping lines and crowded department stores. This year is no different! Beginning at 10:00AM, we'll have a lobby full of hands-on art activities including a contemporary portraiture project related to our current exhibition, LIKENESS. And as a special addition this year, our good friends from Artists Image Resource will be here leading a screen printing activity.

As if this wasn't enough, guided tours will be given at 1:30 PM and 3:30 PM, and the BoxSpring Café will be open for lunch. All Family Day activities are FREE with regular museum admission, so forget the mall this Friday and join us for an afternoon of art the whole family can get into! I hope to see you here.

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Friday, November 20, 2009

Notes From the Archive: MF Limited Editions

One project I’m currently focusing on in the MF archives is getting our Limited Edition collection online. The items in this collection are comprised of various works on paper and three dimensional sculptures, and are representations of past Mattress Factory installations. Typically, the artist will focus on an element or idea from their large-scale exhibition piece and create a smaller-scale run of works. The pieces are then numbered, signed and made available for purchase here at the museum. Proceeds from the sale are split 50/50 between the artist and the MF.

Virtually all of the work artists create at the Mattress Factory isn’t made to be sold or installed in a home environment. Therefore, the Limited Edition collection is unique in that someone can take an element of Mattress Factory art home with them. The collection currently features work from some of our permanent collection artists; Rolf Julius (pictured below), William Anastasi, and Jene Highstein. We also have pieces by artists whose work is no longer exhibiting such as David Ellis, Jessica Stockholder, Deborah Aschheim, Mark Garry, and Dove Bradshaw.

Of course, I won’t be doing all of the work necessary to get these works online. In fact, much of my work will be quite invisible. I’m responsible for producing catalog information about each piece and entering that information into our collections database. We currently use a simple database platform (HINT: exciting news about this to come in a future blog post!) and most of the information is standard; artist, title of work, date, and dimensions. However, it is also important to note what type of ink was used, what kind of paper the work was printed on, or what sort of candy compound was used.

I’m also responsible for properly storing these items and organizing the archive so they can be found easily and quickly. Much of this work is already complete and I’m now focusing on making sure each artist's Limited Edition documentation folder has everything necessary should someone want to purchase a piece. These documents include certificates of authenticity for each edition to be sold, information about the artist (CV or biography), press relating to their exhibition and information about the original piece that inspired the edition.

Just yesterday, photographer Tom Little was here documenting the collection. Once we get the images back from Tom, I’ll gather all the relevant identifying information and send it all on to Jeffrey, who will serve it up to you, nice and pretty like, on the internet.

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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Please Help: The 2009 Annual Fund

What a year it's been here at the Mattress Factory! With the closing of Inner and Outer Space early in January, we rolled through Predrive: After Technology, Thaddeus Mosley: Sculpture (Studio | Home), the 12th and 13th installments in the Gestures Exhibition Series, the most over the top Urban Garden Party in MF history, and just last month the opening of LIKENESS and the addition of Greer Lankton's It's all about ME, Not You to the museum's permanent collection. Quite a year for art and programming.

We also pushed technological boundaries by becoming the first museum in the United States to utilize QR code technology in the galleries to enhance visitor experiences. The MF iConfess & SCREENtxt projects were also innovative & experimental successes.

As you can probably assume, making art and producing these programs and exhibitions isn't cheap. It costs $45 per day to house one artist in residence. It costs $733 to fly a curator from Dublin to Pittsburgh. It costs $48 a day to keep the lights on in our galleries at 500 Sampsonia. It costs $2,200 to buy a video projector for an artist.

Friends, members and supporters like you help enable the Mattress Factory to continue offering an environment for artists and curators to take risks and create new work and exhibitions. Please consider giving to the Mattress Factory's 2009 Annual Fund today.

Every gift, no matter what size, makes a big difference at the Mattress Factory. A high level of support from individuals like you can help the museum attract gifts from foundations, corporations and other sources. Your gift, combined with those from other friends of the Mattress Factory, helps us build a foundation to make strong exhibitions and education programs extraordinary. CLICK HERE to give $25 today!

We understand that some of you aren't in a financial position to give, and you can still help. Please use the buttons below to help spread the word by sharing this blog post with your online networks on FaceBook and Twitter. Every post helps.

Many corporations will match their employees' gifts to the Mattress Factory with an equal corporate contribution. Check with your human resources office for details. You also can contact me, Lindsay, at lindsay [at] mattress [dot] org or 412-231-3169 and I’ll ask for you.

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Thursday, November 5, 2009

Artist & Curator Harvest Talk

Naturally, the thing I look forward to most during a run of an exhibition here at the Mattress Factory is the educational programming my department produces. Through workshops, lectures, outreach events and artist/school partnerships, I love helping create opportunities that connect MF artists with the public and programs that encourage viewers to consider the relevance of art & creativity in their own lives. The next such event will take place this Saturday, November 7, here at the museum.

I invite you to join Gestures 13 curator Katherine Talcott and exhibiting artists Stephanie Armbruster, Jeremy Boyle, Jonny Farringdon, Nayda Collazo-Llorens, Amanda Long, Lindsay O'Leary, Drew Pavelchak, The Urban Gardner & Dror Yaron for an evening of artistic discussion and fall harvest treats. There will be a guided tour of the exhibition at 6:00PM and the discussion will begin at 7:00PM. Admission is $10, but as always: MF members, PITT + CMU Students are FREE with I.D. I hope to see you Saturday evening!

November 2009 - Artist & Curator Talks

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