Thursday, May 10, 2018

RECAP // Mattress Factory Trip to Philadelphia April 28-29

Mattress Factory Trip to Philadelphia: April 28-29, 2018

On Saturday morning, a group of intrepid travelers gathered at the Mattress Factory for coffee and the chance to chat before embarking on their trip. Their conversations were laced with excitement, despite the early hour, and the troupe boarded the charter bus with great anticipation.

The group arrived in Philadelphia and made their way to FS Investments in the early afternoon. There, the travelers enjoyed free reign to explore four floors of office space that housed just a portion of the private contemporary art collection of Michael Forman, FS Investments CEO, and his wife, Jennifer Rice.

Privately held works by artists such as Sol LeWitt, Robert Motherwell, Elizabeth Osborne, Louise Nevelson, Kenneth Noland, and more graced the walls, were tucked into conference rooms, and surprised the travelers as they rounded corners.

After the group had finished exploring the collection, they traveled to El Poquito for dinner. While dining al fresco, the adventurers shared margaritas and delightful conversation that filled the restaurant's patio with laughter.


Following dessert, the group of friends, both old and new, boarded the bus and traveled to the Chestnut Hill Friends Meeting, where the Skyspace by James Turrell, Greet the Light, is housed. No photography is allowed in the artwork, but the experience no doubt created lasting memories.

In the morning, the majority of the group courageously rose before dawn and met in the hotel lobby at 4:15am to return to the Skyspace for a sunrise viewing. The experience did not disappoint. It was a cloudy morning, and the view of the swirling sky through the aperture above created a unique sight that added depth and dimension to the sky as it changed color—from pink to purple to yellow to deep blue. The group, in their conversation afterward, wondered whether any two people could possibly see the exact same colors or ever have the same experience.

After a chance to grab breakfast, catch up on sleep, or both, the group convened for a tour with Mural Arts Philadelphia. The travelers walked through Center City and learned about various murals and the stories and impetus behind their creation from the guide. The tour touched on Mural Arts Philadelphia's many programs that benefit the people of the region, including individuals facing homelessness, at-risk youth, and formerly incarcerated individuals.

After the tour, the group boarded the bus and returned to Pittsburgh early Sunday evening. They departed for home, spirits high, after a whirlwind weekend of viewing rare artworks, forging new connections, and creating lasting memories.