The Mattress Factory

Two Pittsburgh organizations known for their sometimes controversial art installations are teaming up to talk about the First Amendment.

Conflict Kitchen in Schenley Plaza and the Mattress Factory on the North Side are hosting a panel discussion Tuesday on the challenges artists face when creating and presenting work inspired by the relationship between Palestine, Israel and the United States.

The Pittsburgh Biennial has begun at the Carnegie Museum of Art (CMOA) with a local artist showcasing his two-and three-dimensional works, and the Pittsburgh Glass Center is about to join in on the Biennial with a wide array of glass ideas.

The Pittsburgh Biennial is held roughly every other year, 2011 was the last one, and gives local Pittsburgh artists a chance to be featured by the galleries around the city.

Jennifer Szweda Jordan / 90.5WESA

There are many exciting arts events coming to Pittsburgh this fall. From the 35th anniversary of the Mattress Factory to feminist punk rock and of course, a big ‘ol rubber ducky.

Bill O'Driscoll, Arts & Entertainment Editor for the Pittsburgh City Paper says installations from the Mattress Factory's Detroit in Residence exhibit use found objects to their advantage.

"It was opportunity rather than devastation."

He found the basement exhibit from Scott Hocking especially notable. It utilizes the imagery of the Carrie Furnace in Rankin and salvaged figures from a bible theme park for "a mediation on post-industrial society."

The Mattress Factory, known for its installation art, has received a $100,000 grant from the Benedum Foundation to continue its educational outreach in western Pennsylvania and extend it into West Virginia.  

Felice Cleveland, the museum's director of education, said artists create educational tools called "The Space I'm In" to be used in K-12 classrooms by pairs of teachers: one art teacher paired with a teacher from another subject. Together, they develop a series of inter-disciplinary lessons to present core curriculum to their students.