Thursday, November 29, 2012

MF CraftFactory: December 15th, 2012

Join us in the MF Lobby on Saturday, December 15th for a special holiday shopping event: the MF CraftFactory! Come explore hand-made arts created by MF Staff members, Educators, and Volunteers. Only $5 admission to the museum!

KitschDitch by Sam Ditch
MF Shop Assistant
A field of flowers, a figure, some glitter and thread. People found in forgotten Kodachrome slides and yellowing photographs. The work of Sam Ditch deals with memory and the forgotten - both in subject matter and material. Second hand fabrics, threads, and embroidery hoops are central to this series, which began in the Fall of 2009. Other wares include colorful modern earrings and vintage-inspired greeting cards.

Sam Ditch is a Bellevue resident, and a 2009 graduate of Slippery Rock University. Sam has exhibited work in the Pittsburgh area and currently has work for sale at Wildcard. She’s a collector of all things kitsch and an avid folk music consumer. When Sam is not making art or searching the thrift stores for materials, she enjoys reading sci-fi paperbacks and spending time with her pet fish, houseplants and her bearded counterpart.

Rose Duggan
MF Volunteer

Rose Duggan is a painter living and working in Pittsburgh who wants to help people find beautiful artwork for their home or business. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Allegheny College and now shows her work throughout the area, most recently in the Sweetwater Center for the Arts “Belly of the Beast” exhibition.

Her non-objective works play with two-dimensional space while addressing formal concepts in painting. The result is an exploration of the material distilled to line, color and perspective. In addition to original paintings she sells prints and greeting cards made from photos of her work. Paintings on commission are available. Rose is looking to work with interior designers, business owners and individuals to find artwork that adds joy to lives.

Claudia Giannini
MF Grant Writer

Claudia Giannini received her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from West Virginia University and studied art history and museum education at Penn State, graduating with a Masters in Education in 1981. She has worked in several museums, including the Smithsonian, the Birmingham Museum of Art and The Carnegie Museum of Art.

Claudia received her Master of Fine Arts degree from West Virginia University in 1999, with specialization in printmaking and photography. She has held residencies at the Vermont Studio Center and Virginia Center for Creative Arts and participated in a residency at Artists Image Resource in Pittsburgh sponsored by the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation. Claudia exhibits widely and recently contributed 13 images to a book, Field Notes from Grief, with text by Judith Stitzel, published in 2012. Her work combines photographic and printmaking techniques, along with other media such as wax, collage, and handmade paper, to create images that explore our connection to the natural world. 

Vanessa Kettering
MF Volunteer

As one of the oldest art forms, ceramics has a versatility shared with few other mediums. Vanessa's work is a conversation in form vs. function. Form, shape and surface decoration are combined to create objects that walk the line between usable and sculpture. Themes include the abstracted vase, drawings etched in clay (a technique she developed herself) and the never ceasing desire to push high-fired stoneware to its physical limits. 

Vanessa Kettering creates her ceramic work at the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts, and is a member of the Associated Artists of Pittsburgh. A trained art educator, she works at an after school program in Regent Square and leads art classes for a variety of ages. She speaks some Italian and is studying Japanese language and culture.

War Admiral Press by Shannon Knepper
MF Graphic Designer
War Admiral Press specializes in small runs of hand-cranked paper goods, with a touch of olde Pittsburgh. Her Pittsburgh Misses You coasters can be seen about town and her new line of silkscreened holiday cards will be unveiled at the MF CraftFactory. Get yours for the holiday season! 

Nathan Lorenzo
MF Gallery Attendant, Visitor Services

Hi! My name is Nathan Lorenzo and with my art I strive to translate sounds into visuals. Although I typically work in digital mediums I will be offering several original drawings in ink, colored pencil, and graphite, for sale at the CraftFactory.

Please check out more of my work on my tumblr or feel free to contact me anytime for more information.


Maria Mangano
MF Visitor Services & Volunteer Coordinator

Maria Mangano makes art about nature, animals, arcana, and the dusty boxes of forgotten information found in the dark corners of libraries and museums. A native of Syracuse, New York, she moved to Pittsburgh to attend Carnegie Mellon University, where she earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 2006.
Mangano's media range from intaglio to relief printing, works on paper, and site-specific installations, each work addressing the cultural systems that affect our understanding of the natural world. She has exhibited regionally at the Chautauqua Institute in Chautauqua, New York, and locally at the Brew House Space 101, 709 Penn Gallery, Fe Gallery, and Future Tenant Gallery.

Lindsay O’Leary
Former MF Communications & Digital Media Manager

Lindsay O’Leary is an artist and technologist living in Pittsburgh. She learned to blow glass at the Cleveland Institute of Art and moved to Pittsburgh in 2002 to create glass art at the Pittsburgh Glass Center. O'Leary is also the Web Content Editor at Carlow University and spends her weekends working on home remodeling projects. She is fascinated with art, tech, and architecture -- particularly the intersection of the three.

O'Leary's works have been exhibited at the Mattress Factory, Pittsburgh Center for the Arts, the Brew House, PPG Wintergarden, and other galleries throughout Pittsburgh. She has also exhibited at UnSmoke Systems in nearby Braddock, Pennsylvania, and the Rochester Contemporary Art Center in Rochester, New York.

AC/VC by Derek Reese
MF Educator

Appalachians in Charge of Visual Culture is an artist group that focuses on crafts, wares, art objects, and small artwork on paper inspired by various aspects of Appalachian culture. AC/VC is a platform created for artists in the region who typically create artwork intended for the fine art market but who also have discovered an interest in creating less expensive, handmade merchandise that may bolster the artist's revenue and public awareness of their work.

AC/VC was created by artist Derek Reese as a way to showcase pieces of art from his body of work that are better suited for a vendor’s booth rather than a fine art gallery. He describes his merchandise as artifacts collected from, created for, or inspired by his large paintings, drawings, sculpture, installations, video, and performances. Derek’s studio is located at 131 7th Street in downtown Pittsburgh where he can be found creating artwork for his upcoming solo exhibition, titled WonderBred, which focuses on topics such as ecology, economy, and masculinity in Appalachia. To view Derek’s past artwork, biography, and endeavors past and present please visit his website.

Rosalind Santavicca
MF Educator

Rosalind’s watercolors find inspiration in many parts of the natural world from watching birds and gardening to walking on the beach.  Birds, animals, herbs in the garden, and walking on the beach feed her imagination.  Herbs to Watercolor, the current card creations, are made by applying paint to the herb plant and transferring the image to the cards.  The larger matted and framed works are created using various watercolor techniques. 

Rosalind works in her home-studio and has been painting for twenty years with a focus on watercolor.  She studied at the University of Pittsburgh, Phipps Conservatory, and the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts, as well as with the watercolor artists Marion Martino, Ann Payne, Frank Webb, Robert Bowden, and Don Andrews.  She has exhibited in various venues in the Pittsburgh area, most recently at Boulevard Gallery in Verona, Pennsylvania. 

Gina Tomsky
MF Shop Assistant
The work of Gina Tomsky deals mainly with encaustic. The ancient wax-based medium of encaustic paint is a molten bees wax mixed with resin and pigments.  She incorporates found objects, handmade paper, mixed media, printmaking, and oils to create each unique piece. When combining encaustic with other materials, and techniques, her artwork takes on a sophisticated presence which allows the artist’s own life and art experience to shine through.

Gina graduated from Carlow University in 2010 with a degree in Art Education and is certified in Art Therapy.  She currently resides in Lawrenceville with her partner and their pomeranian, Giuseppe. She enjoys drinking coffee, while shuffling her Pandora playlist, traveling, biking, and collecting salvaged objects to incorporate into new paintings. You can contact her via email:

Emily Walley
MF Educator, Occasional Installer

Emily Walley is originally from Wisconsin, where she attended the University of Wisconsin Stout, graduating with a degree in Studio Arts. Emily relocated to Pittsburgh after completing graduate studies at West Virginia University with her degree in Fine Art, Intermedia. She has exhibited installation, video, and sculpture work at Union Art Gallery (Milwaukee, WI), Salisbury Electronic Gallery (Salisbury, MD), and Assemble Gallery (Pittsburgh).

Currently, Emily is collaborating with Pittsburgh artist and musician David Bernabo on a series of video works. David and Emily are participating in upcoming group exhibitions at ModernFormations Gallery and Pittsburgh Center for the Arts. You can also view her work on Etsy.  

Ties That Bind by Ray Zarzeczny
MF Building Manager

“A little creative, a little weird, mildly outrageous and majorly scandalous.” With a creative mind and a desire to try and use materials from previous MF installations, Ray tries to create unique items.  Many of the MF installations end up in his "Art Yard".  Using these left-over installations, he creates new functional uses for them.  A telephone pole has become a unusual sculpture, and a bench.  Huge candle molds have become raised lettuce beds.  Wood from the Kennywood Racer has become a makeshift bridge through his fruit trees.  Port Authority bus seats have become patio seating and a bus grab rail has become a stair handrail.

Using rubber pond liner from a previous installation, Ray has created his rubber ties. These ties are all unique in their patterns and color. Other items include handcuff earrings and subversive cross stitch.