Mattress Factory

There are presently no open calls for submissions.


The Mattress Factory was founded in 1977 by artists who were interested in producing site-specific installations created by artists working in residence. Since then, the museum has commissioned and presented new installation and performance works by more than 650 artists. The museum supports established and emerging artists through a program that provides guidance, leadership, resources and opportunities to create artwork that is unconventional, challenging and thought-provoking. The museum’s flexibility and inventiveness allow artists to respond to developments in technology, explore audience interaction and challenge traditional artistic ideals and practice.

In a given year the museum exhibits work by eight to twelve artists, and exhibitions are open to the public for an average of 10 months. The average residency time period is three to four weeks on-site, but can be longer or shorter depending upon the needs of the project. The museum enhances its exhibitions with public and educational programming inspired by and developed with the artists’ input.

The Mattress Factory’s exhibitions staff works closely with individual artists to plan each project, helping to cultivate ideas, manage options, find resources and solve technical challenges. The Mattress Factory provides both skilled (carpenters, metal fabricators) and unskilled labor as needed. Museum staff procures any and all items the artist needs (bags of human hair, miles of barbed wire, tons of paraffin wax, insect larvae) and goes to great lengths to accommodate special requests, such as cooling a space to below freezing or coating a gallery floor with molten candy.

 The following support is provided to all artists in residence:

▪ All project material costs

▪ Skilled and unskilled labor during installation

▪ Staff project support

▪ Marketing and publicity

▪ Photo documentation

▪ Transportation to and from Pittsburgh

▪ On-site housing

▪ Per diem

▪ Stipend