Friday, June 22, 2012

Record-breaking Urban Garden Party fundraiser!

It's been exactly one week since the Urban Garden Party: Alice at the Factory and we're still a bit in shock from the amazing support we have received. With your help, we raised a record-breaking $220,000 for the museum's unique artistic and education programs!

Many thanks to everyone who helped in any and every way – corporate sponsors, visual and performance artists, volunteers, musicians, food vendors, host committee, photographers, ticket-buyers, and our Chairs Susan and Scott Lammie – we couldn't have done it without you. We are humbled.

What people are saying:

 "...And so the story goes that more than 1,300 guests were falling down the rabbit hole and into the summer soiree that has become infamous for a history of bold swan dives into edgy, eye-popping territory." 

"The Mattress Factory's Urban Garden Party is held each year in the rugged outdoor space, and regulars (of which there are quite a few!) know to wear shoes that can handle the terrain. That doesn't preclude going all out in the costume department, and the "Alice at the Factory" theme inspired many mad hatters to don gay apparel."

"The Mattress Factory’s Urban Garden Party should be on your to-do list for next year. Alice At The Factory was a perfect summer party, celebrating quirkiness and art, and supporting an organization that is one of Pittsburgh’s gems. We had a blast!!"

"The MF's Urban Garden Party was over-the-top magical, tasty and eccentric, full of twirly-whirly dancing, and stuffing oneself silly!"
 -Anna Moore, Table Magazine

Curiouser and curiouser!

What people were photographing:

We are indebted to the fantastic photographers who really capture the soul and the depth of this one night!

The official MF photoset: John Altdorfer, Larry Rippel, Andy Rincon, and Ashley Noble
Jo Ellen Smith
Rob de la Cretaz

Even more photos:
Elevation Loft

We had Alice's prettiest rabbits attend the VIP party

See you at next year's Urban Garden Party on Friday, June 21st, 2013!

What do we want? RAINBOW WORLD! When do we want it? NOW!

What would you do if someone took away something you loved?  Would you demand its swift return?  Would you protest?  Would you take to the streets?

That’s exactly what the kids at MF’s Community ArtLab did yesterday when their beloved “rainbow world” (the colorful installation currently in our lobby) got tied up in knots and no longer hung down to the floor to flow freely. With a little help from ArtLab instructors Kevin Clancy and David Pohl, the kids decided to take matters into their own hands. Their list of demands was simple:  What did they want? RAINBOW WORLD!  When did they want it? NOW!

So they made some signs, grabbed some instruments, and set out onto Sampsonia Way to make some noise.

Some of our friends from Lungs Face Feet stopped by to help.

Each summer, MF’s Community ArtLab brings artists and educators together with local youth for a summer day camp experience that inspires creativity and initiates conversations about the community. With themes like “The Power of Play” and “Super Hero Snacktime,” each session of Community ArtLab gives kids a chance to explore artistic and practical ways to improve the places we live.

The theme of this week’s workshop is “Utopia.” Students have been visiting nearby gardens, pondering geodesic domes, and learning how to become the change they wish to see in the world. It’s fitting then, that they returned to the museum yesterday to find that sometimes dreaming big really does pay off–rainbow world was back!

This summer's Community ArtLab workshops are currently full, but you can click here to learn more about them or sign up for the waiting list.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

The 2012 Community Garden Party is Almost Here!

Things are getting curiouser and curiouser here at MF with preparations for the 2012 Community Garden Party in full swing and only two weeks to go before Alice and her friends turn the garden into a magical place where everyone gets the chance to be a Mad Hatter, a hula hooper, and a silk screen artist. Your dreams will literally materialize in front of your eyes when artist Paul Nosa sews them onto fabric using a sustainably powered sewing machine, or when you order your first taco from the long-awaited PGH Taco Truck!

Silk Screening with AIR at last year's Community Garden Party

Partygoers can also look forward to entertainment from emcees Tom Sarver and Mike Cuccaro of the Puppet Happening, live music from local bands like the North Side Urban Pathways Sounds of Steel, and an introduction into the world of garden arts with artist Rose Clancy. The galleries will be open too so don’t forget to check out the awesome exhibitions currently on display.

Last year's hula hoop champion

This annual party is our way of saying thanks to the community for helping us facilitate another year of amazing art created by amazing artists. And as usual, it’s free and family friendly with lots of games, activities, and entertainment for everyone. None of it would be possible without the community members who support us, and for that we think you deserve a chance to experience wonderland, at least for a day.

WHAT: 2012 Community Garden Party
WHERE: The Mattress Factory, 500 Sampsonia Way, Pittsburgh, PA
WHEN: Sunday, June 17 2012, Noon – 5 p.m.