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Andrea Peña
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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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Julie Schenkelberg

The Color of Temperance: Embodied Energy

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 create large-scale semi-permanent installations using discarded domestic materials and unwanted histories, realizing and regenerating the beauty found in the healing of lives lost. Beginning with once-adored furniture, dishware, and carefully folded linens, I transform our collective agreements of domestic life by shattering and combining them with materials such as concrete, copper, rusted metal, and repurposed wood.

The forgotten space plays a critical role in my work as it nearly always serves as either my canvas or palette, or both. In neglected homes, abandoned buildings, or even in the gallery space, my installations bring together familial memory, transformation, and healing. My works examine the psychology of abandonment, seeking to bring compassion to the no longer desirable pieces of domestic lives. Strongly influenced by theater and my years as a master set painter, my sculptures act as small sets or environments within a larger space, often interacting and disrupting the established physical structure. My work draws on my personal story and imagery of the post-industrial ruins of my hometown, Cleveland, Ohio. By collecting these fragments of a decaying legend of America's Rust Belt, my dynamic sculptures bring new life to a forgotten past.

These unlikely domestic and industrial bedfellows are unified into a new beauty, rising from a rich foundation of my melded and cathartic reconstruction. This unexpected coupling holds viewers as they explore unkempt broken bits and decomposing memories creating a new story. My work asks the viewer to contemplate their own domestic history and revel in the surprising beauty of the new place they find themselves.



About The Artist

Julie Schenkelberg was born in 1974 in Cleveland, Ohio. Schenkelberg uses vintage domestic items, combined with industrial discarded materials to interpret the history of interior spaces. Her materials break and blend into one another, blurring their original intent; creating a new disjointed vision of memory or dreams. She received an MFA from the School of Visual Arts, NY, and is represented at Asya Geisberg Gallery in Manhattan. She has been included in group and solo exhibitions in New York, Chicago, and Miami, and was awarded the juror prize for installation at ArtPrize 2014, Grand Rapids, MI.


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