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After School

Teen Summer Workshop Series
Our Mission

The Mattress Factory is an artist-centered museum, international residency program and renowned producer and presenter of installation art. We say “yes” to artists, offering time and space to dream and realize projects in our hometown, Pittsburgh, PA. We invite audiences from around the world and around the corner to step inside, immerse and connect with the artistic process.

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Anna E. Mikolay

Capturing Robotic Gestures

This play is a reflection on the (im)possibility of accepting diversity and the other. The fragmented body of the neoplasm—the fruit of unstable conditions—overcomes barriers, loves and denies itself and others, wanders around, forgetting its profession. It frequently and with pleasure divides, goes through dangerous palpation, questions the possibility of contact with the experience of the other. Poorly brought up but very successful, it invites us to a trans-species transition.

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Artist Statement

I was interested in creating drawings that were visual documentation of the movements made by the GigaPan which takes a series of pictures to create a panoramic image. Each drawing recorded on the paper is the result of movement from the GigaPan and its robotic arm as it takes images based on the parameters set by the user. The drawings were made by attaching a brush to the robotic arm of the GigaPan, setting the parameters for a panoramic image to be taken, placing the GigaPan and/or paper close enough to track the movements, and initializing the digital picture taking process. All of the recorded documentations included my human interaction (i.e. holding up the paper, dipping the brush in ink etc), which did not allow for an “exact” visual tracking of the movement but instead a more gestural stroke of movement was captured. The embroidered images on the curtains are of the drawings that were created with the brush and the GigaPan. They represent a further exploration of the drawings using needle, thread, and fabric. The curtains are hung in the open windows to demonstrate an interaction with the natural elements of light and air as well as to provide a visual representation of the notion that all things are interconnected.



About The Artist

Anna Mikolay is a painter and installation artist from Pittsburgh, PA. She received her BFA from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania and continued on to earn her Master's in Elementary Education at the University of Pittsburgh.

Mikolay’s paintings are a long-term exploration of color fields, geometric shapes, patterns, and optics in a given composition. When she paints on a larger scale, she paints directly onto the wall and considers the relationship between composition, architecture, and the viewer passing through it. In terms of her installations, Mikolay responds to the uniqueness of each site. She explores the relationship between material, concept site, and the viewer.

Her work is represented at Concept Art Gallery in Pittsburgh, PA. Mikolay has exhibited her work all over the city of Pittsburgh, including Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh Center for the Arts, Future Tenant Gallery, Pittsburgh Biennial, the SPACE Gallery, and the Jask Gallery.


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