Friday, July 19, 2013


For the past two weeks an enthusiastic bunch of students have taken up their own artist residence at the Mattress Factory for Community Art Labs. Pittsburgh puppet maker Cheryl Capezzuti has been working with a group of 10 to 13-year olds to transform both every day and unusual materials into one-of-a-kind creatures and full-body puppets.

Artist John Peña has been guiding students through various stages of sculpture, from miniature to massive! 

You can see more pictures of Community Art Lab on our Flickr page.

As today is the last full day of workshops for our first session, Director of Education Felice Cleveland sat down with the young participants to hear what they had to say about the Mattress Factory and their workshops. Some of the best responses are below:

Do you know what installation art is?
-Yes, art you can walk into –  a place that you can actually live in.
-Yes, art that you can get into – inside of it and connected with it.
-Yes, art that makes use of space or that you can be inside of.
-Yes, when art is made in the space and it is IN the space.
-Something that is creative and can use any material, anything you can imagine.

What have you learned at Community Art Lab?
-That you never make mistakes in art, even if you mess up to keep going
-How to work better with other people, work more quickly and execute an idea faster.
-That there is art that stands out and art that doesn’t. I learned that "ephemeral" is something that lasts for a very short time.
-Art isn’t just painting and sketches. You don’t need anything fancy to make art (i.e. we are using a lot of cardboard!).

What was your favorite activity at Community Art Lab?
-Making the project where something fits in your hand five or ten times bigger.
-Making small and big puppets – it was very artistic and we used recycled materials. Working together on one project but trying different materials. 
-Giant puppets and making giant things.

How did you like being at the Mattress Factory all day?
-I like it, it's fun and different. I’ve never been to a camp with so many activities and you actually get to go outside and eat lunch in a piece of artwork.
-I like it a lot. I like the atmosphere of both classes. It is happy like a family.
-I LOVE it, because it is fun and creative and you get to not just look at art, but go in to it.

How does Community Art Lab compare to other programs you have participated in?
-It is more exciting here and you get to do everything.
-It is better than others, you can make so many things with all your teachers and it is so fun.
-Everyone is treated the same – both adults + kids. There is a better quality of art/materials.
-This program is a lot more work—more collaborative.
-It is a museum and it is a lot of art – there are better and more interesting projects at CAL. Other
camps have projects I already know and something I don’t know is more interesting.
-All other programs were science / math, so this was more creative and laid back. There were no wrong ideas for projects.

What improvements could be made to Community Art Lab?
-Longer – having more weeks.
-Longer days.
-We could add more weeks and have more activities and different artists come.

Do you have any other comments?
-The Mattress Factory is awesome.
-I think that there is a good amount of staff who were all very charismatic and I’m glad they had air conditioning.

All of the students involved in this summer's Community Art Labs will take part in a celebration August 9 from 6-8pm. Come check out what all the budding artists who participated in our workshops have been up to this summer. Invite your friends to come with you and see incredible artwork (both in our permanent collection AND made by students) and never-before-seen performances, participate in hands-on workshops and enjoy light fare. Free; RSVPs requested to felice[at]mattress[dot]org.

Thanks to all of our 2013 Community Art Lab participants. We're glad we have air conditioning too!

Read All Posts by Mandy

No comments: