Monday, January 26, 2015

PREVIEW // February 7 ARTLab: Gettin' Silly!

Making spaceships at the last ARTLab was more popular than we expected! We were so impressed by the enthusiasm and the creativity of all our participants. Folks used recycled cardboard boxes and LED lights to make their own spaceships, taking inspiration from Ryder Henry's installation Diaspora.

When visiting a museum or gallery, how do you typically act? I would guess you are very courteous and quiet, while trying your hardest to avoid touching things. At the next ARTLab, we will be breaking that habit by bringing Temporary Autonomous Zones (TAZs for short) to the Mattress Factory.

What is a TAZ you ask? According to artist in residence Benjamin Sota, they are a “socio-political tactic of creating temporary spaces that elude formal structures of control” and can be very influential in how people think about society. In these spaces, individuals can act in ways they normally wouldn’t dare, free from the constraints of  “normal” societal behavior. Sota creates a TAZ in his exhibition Damn everything but the circus, an installation that invites viewers to forget the rules and play to get a full understanding of the pieces.

At the upcoming ARTLab, visitors will be invited to create their own TAZs, each with a different “rule” everyone must follow upon entering - the sillier, the better. Sota makes it clear that TAZs don’t work unless EVERYONE commits, so come out and join us for a fun afternoon of breaking the rules!

ARTLab and Drop-in Tours are open to all ages and free with museum admission. See you there!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Sweet Gifts for your Sweetheart!

Vintage Globe. $75
Valentine's Day - it's almost here! Whether you're a last minute shopper, DIYer, or typically go the flowers and chocolate route - why not shop unique and local? The MF Shop has quite an assortment of funky and locally made items you just can't buy anywhere else! From vintage vases to handcrafted jewelry to beautiful cutting boards made from reclaimed wood - we've got it all.

Please stop by or contact us with any questions via email at or by calling 412.325.1512.

Handcrafted Wooden Vases by Bones & All. $30 / $65

Original Artwork by Jeshaka. $40

Valentines Cards by Alternate Histories. $4

Porcelain Earrings by Red Raven Studios. $46
Ceramic Cloud Dish by Adam J. Waddell. $10

Hand Artwork / Coasters by Celeste Paulick.
Set of two: $40.

Crochet Sterling Silver & Lava Stone Necklace by Nathan Hall. $140

Turquoise Spike Ring by Adam J. Waddell. $40
Ceramic Cloud Dish by Adam J. Waddell. $10
Fries & Slaw card by John the Craftist. $4

Tube Earrings by MakeWan. $27
Ceramic Cloud Dish by Adam J. Waddell. $10

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

ANNOUNCING // New Event Series for MF Members!

Have you ever wanted to sit down with a Mattress Factory artist and pick their brain? Do you have a bunch of questions you'd like to ask them? How did you make this? How long did it take you? What does it mean? Well, here is your chance!

Introducing Coffee Dates -- a FREE new event series that allows members to have coffee with an exhibiting MF artist. Join us on select Saturday mornings from 10:30-11:30am in the MF Café and enjoy a cup of coffee or tea with MF artists.

Mark your calendars for Coffee Dates with Artist in Residence artists:
We encourage you to arrive to museum at 10am to see the artist's installation on your own (if you haven't already) before your Coffee Date begins. A free drop-in tour will follow Kathleen Montgomery's and John Peña's Coffee Dates.

Don't miss out on this exclusive opportunity to get to know your favorite artists!

This series is FREE for MF Members. Members are allowed to bring guests. Guests pay cost of admission.
Please RSVP to Caitlin Harpster, Development & Membership Coordinator, by calling 412.231.3169 or e-mailing Space is limited. Coffee and tea are provided.

Not a member? Join today.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

MF IN THE NEWS // The Saturday Light Brigade, January 2015

Benjamin Sota, whose work Damn everything but the circus is part of the museum's Artists in Residence exhibition currently on view, was interviewed on The Saturday Light Brigade radio program on Saturday, January 3. Listen to the full interview here.

Friday, January 2, 2015

PREVIEW // ARTLab: Mask-Making + Performance with Benjamin Sota!

Benjamin Sota, whose work is currently on display at the museum, will be leading a circus and physical theater workshop in his installation Damn everything but the circus from 1-2:30pm on Saturday, January 2. Learn how to use the circus equipment in his installation, some neat physical theater moves, and mask techniques. The workshop is $5 and you can RSVP by emailing

In addition to the workshop, you can join us in the lobby and make your own mask at an ARTLab program from 1-4pm! We’ll have another performance at 4pm where you can learn and show off some mo
re physical theater moves in your very own mask. Maybe you can try on a mask made by someone else, too!

You may find that you feel more free to do things you would otherwise not do when you have a mask on. Ben’s installation invites you to interact and perform in a space where, in any other normal situation, you’d be "breaking the rules" - to play, make loud noises and touch a piece of art in a museum. He calls the circus a Temporary Autonomous Zone (TAZ). Creating a TAZ is a socio-political tactic of creating temporary spaces that elude formal structures of control andhave been know to spark change throughout the world.

If you gave yourself permission to put on a fun mask, break some of your own internal rules of behavior, play and perform in a new way for a little while, perhaps you’ll discover something you could try differently in the way you move about the world.

Come play with us! ARTLab is free with your museum admission and is open to all ages.