The Mattress Factory
On the cutting edge of the artistic scene
The Mattress Factory: 500 Sampsonia Way
The Mattress Factory is unlike anything else in Pittsburgh. Its founder Barbara Luderowski, whose moxie and determination has earned her a reputation almost as extraordinary as the gallery itself, started the Mattress Factory 25 years ago. The Mattress Factory seeks to “aggressively educate and encourage viewers – regardless of prior experience – to examine the relevance of art and creativity in their own lives.” Housing a stunning collection of installation art, as well as hosting special exhibits, the Mattress Factory is an experience of truly pushing the boundaries of artistic expression. The featured artists experiment with a multitude of media – digital television pixilations, green hard candy and purple sand, to name just a few – to express their artistic vision. The pervading sense here is one of an escape from convention and of being on the cutting edge of the artistic scene. The Mattress Factory also acts as a development laboratory for artists in residence to develop their work.
Because of its visionary artistic risk-taking, the Mattress Factory has garnered a bit of a reputation for being eccentric and obscure along with its international acclaim. It is out-of-the-box to be sure, but if one approaches it with curiosity it can be a highly rewarding experience and more accessible than you might think. The gallery provides a Visitor’s Guide – an extensive publication that guides you through the art and provides explanation of the pieces and information from and about the artists. Exciting both visually and philosophically, the Mattress Factory’s uniqueness is refreshing.
Tuesday—Saturday: 10am to 5pm
Sunday: 1pm to 5pm
Admission is free with your Carnrgie Mellon ID
Take Fifth Ave downtown and turn right on Wood Street, left on Sixth Street and cross the Sixth Street Bridge. This becomes Federal Street. Then go left onto Jacksonia - parking is on the left at 505 Jacksonia.
Catch a westbound 54C to the North Sideat the corner of Forbes & Craig and get off at North Ave. and Arch Street; walk north on Arch to Sampsonia, walk left on Sampsonia to the museum's entrance.