The Board of Directors of the Mattress Factory is proud to announce the appointment of executive and artistic leadership. Hayley Haldeman, who has served in an interim Executive Director capacity since 2019, has been named Executive Director. Ian Alden Russell, an artistic director, curator and educator who has led projects with arts and cultural organizations, businesses and universities in China, Europe, the UK and the US, has been named Director of Curating.
Michael White, MD, Board Chair of the Mattress Factory states, “We are exceptionally proud and excited for both hiring decisions. Hayley has done the focused and essential work of leading the Mattress Factory through the challenges of COVID-19, stabilizing our finances and building needed infrastructure that will ensure the organizational strength of the Museum. We are honored that she has agreed to lead the Mattress Factory as we complete a long-range strategic plan that will guide us into the future.”
“After an international search during COVID-19 challenges,” says long time Board Member and Search Committee Chair Alice Snyder, “the Mattress Factory welcomes Ian Alden Russell to the Museum and to Pittsburgh. Ian brings a special mix of expertise in technical production, curatorial vision, intellectual curiosity and, importantly for the Mattress Factory, a proven dedication to centering on artists.”
White adds, “For more than forty years, the Mattress Factory, under the leadership of Barbara Luderowski and Michael Olijnyk, created a place for ideas and provided unprecedented support for artists. These key hires, in partnership with the Board and staff, are committed to the continued strength of the Mattress Factory and its dedication to artists.”
Haldeman will continue in her role as Executive Director of the Mattress Factory, with a sustained focus on administration, long-term sustainability and community relationships. The daughter of an artist and a Pittsburgh native, Haldeman is passionate about the museum’s role in supporting artists and connecting their work to visitors. In collaboration with her colleagues and the Board, she will continue a dedicated emphasis on operations and governance, strategic planning and revenue growth and diversification.
Haldeman first joined the Mattress Factory in 2015 as a member of the Museum’s Board of Directors. In February 2019, she accepted the position of Interim Executive Director at the Museum. In her first twelve months, she guided the organization through institutional transition, erased an anticipated $400,000 budget deficit and established partnerships with community stakeholders. Prior to this role, Haldeman was a litigator in the Pittsburgh office of Jones Day, with a pro bono practice focused on nonprofit formation and governance. Haldeman is also active in the Pittsburgh community, serving on the Board for the United Way of Southwestern Pennsylvania and as former chairwoman of the local bar association’s Arts & Law Committee.
Ian Alden Russell
Ian Alden Russell will help direct the artistic vision of the Mattress Factory as it emerges from interim leadership. Beginning his career as an installation technician in Dublin, Ireland, Russell credits the experience of learning from artists while handling and installing their work as the inspiration for a dedication to centering artists’ voices and supporting artists from residency, through production and installation, to exhibition. The new title, Director of Curating, reflects Russell’s commitment to curating as a collaborative practice, rather than a singular role, in which many hands work together to support artists and produce their projects. Decentering the institution’s voice, Russell looks forward to advancing experimental ways of working across the Mattress Factory and working with community members throughout Pittsburgh to build a culture where many voices, diverse perspectives and underrepresented knowledge and skills have agency in curating at the Mattress Factory.
Russell joins the Mattress Factory from the post of Associate Professor and Director of the MA Programme in Cultural Management at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Previously, Russell held the posts of Artistic Director and Chief Curator with K11 in Beijing, Curator of Brown University’s David Winton Bell Gallery, Lecturer in Rhode Island School of Design’s Glass Department and Assistant Professor of Curating and Contemporary Art at Koç University in Istanbul, Turkey. Russell received a Ph.D. in History from Trinity College Dublin and has held fellowships in Public Humanities at Brown University, University College Dublin and the NEH Keough Fellowship at the University of Notre Dame. Select recent projects include: Design Consultant for Wafaa Bilal’s 186:01 at the House of Wisdom in Sharjah; Project Development Consultant for Tania Bruguera’s 10,148,451 for the Turbine Hall at Tate Modern; Curator of Melvin Edwards’s Festivals, Funerals, and New Life featuring works by Jayne Cortez; Guest Curator of Artpace San Antonio’s 2015 International-Artist-in-Residence program; and Curator of the premiers of Vincent Valdez’s The Strangest Fruit, Fatma Bucak’s And men turned their faces from there at Brown University and Mark Dion’s Against the Current at Ormston House in Limerick, Ireland. Russell also has ten years’ experience in performing arts, touring and performing internationally with the award-winning vocal group Anúna.