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Visitors to the Mattress Factory view an artwork by Ian Page during the opening reception for Gestures: An Exhibition of Small Site-Specific Works. (Photograph: Haley Harned)

Now in its 31st year, the Mattress Factory is a museum of contemporary art that supports the creation and exhibition of site-specific installation art.  Located in a renovated, century-old mattress warehouse on Pittsburgh's North Side, its mission is to provide artists with a residency and exhibition program; educate and encourage visitors to examine the relevance of art and creativity in their own lives; and energize its neighborhood through the expansion and development of artistic and education programs.

Since 1982, the Mattress Factory has provided space and resources for more than 300 artists from around the world to make site-specific works.  It houses 16 permanent installations on continuous display, including important works by James Turrell, Yayoi Kusama, Greer Lankton and Bill Woodward.  The museum's Education Department, which serves over 16,000 museum-goers each year, presents a variety of programs that encourage visitors of all ages to experience, investigate, understand and participate in the creative practice that living artists undertake to make new site-specific, room-sized installations.

The Factory 14s/Installation Art Intensive is a tuition-free youth art course that introduces teens and young artists (ages 14-18) of all backgrounds to the choices, decisions, methods and materials relevant to the creation, presentation, and interpretation of installation art.  Under the guidance of professional artists, teens engage in a creative process that closely mirrors the Mattress Factory's artist-residency program.  Students conceive of, plan, and install their own collaborative pieces.

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