Mattress Factory announces new Executive Director, Strategic Plan

Following a five-month national search, the Board of Directors of the Mattress Factory is proud to announce the appointment of David Oresick as the new Executive Director of the contemporary installation art museum.

Oresick is the current Executive Director and Chief Curator of Silver Eye Center for Photography, in Pittsburgh. He will start in his role on May 16, 2022. Current Executive Director Hayley Haldeman anticipates stepping down at the end of May, following a two-week transition period.

Sherry DuCarme, Board Chair of the Mattress Factory, states: “We are extremely proud of and excited for David’s hire. Following a months-long and incredibly competitive search process, David exemplified everything we sought to lead the Museum in its next chapter: a talented and experienced arts leader and visionary, with a strong national and local reputation and demonstrated excellence with supporting artists and organizational growth.”

Oresick states: “I am incredibly honored to be chosen to lead this amazing organization. As a native Pittsburgher, the Mattress Factory is a place that has always meant so much to me and was a huge part of forming my love for boundary pushing contemporary art from an early age. In my career my passion has always been working to help artists create new artwork and sharing that artwork in meaningful and engaging ways. I can’t think of a better place to continue this work than the Mattress Factory.”

Oresick has served as the Executive Director of Silver Eye Center for Photography since 2014. During his eight-year tenure, Oresick developed and implemented a major strategic plan and million-dollar campaign to build out and relocate the institution from its prior location in Pittsburgh’s South Side. Leading the organization at its new location in Pittsburgh’s Penn Avenue Arts District, Oresick tripled program attendance, created new programs and revenue streams, led a board governance revitalization, and co created the Silver List, a new model to highlight diverse voices in photography.

At Silver Eye, Oresick curated over twenty gallery exhibitions, with a focus on supporting emerging and mid-career artists. He has cultivated and stewarded relationships with numerous local and national artists, arts organizations and funding partners, as well as educational institutions and artist residency programs. Oresick was also a co-founder of The Visual Arts Coalition for Equity, a group of arts organizations that worked collectively to create a paid training program that assists aspiring arts leaders in creating equitable and sustainable practices within their communities.

Oresick holds an MFA from Columbia College Chicago and a BFA from the Rochester Institute of Technology. A Pittsburgh native, he is also an adjunct instructor at Carnegie Mellon University. Prior to his role at Silver Eye, Oresick served as a Manager at Light Work at Syracuse University, where he oversaw an artist-in-residence program, and as a Curatorial Assistant at the Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago.

Current Executive Director Haldeman announced her plans to step down in December 2021, following a three-year tenure. The Mattress Factory engaged Management Consultants for the Arts to facilitate the search process to identify new leadership.

Haldeman, a lawyer, led the Mattress Factory through organizational transition and the COVID-19 pandemic. Within her first ten months, she erased a projected $375,000 budget deficit and strengthened administrative and governance measures at the staff and Board level. Haldeman and her family are expecting their second child in June 2022.

Artistic Director Transition

Earlier this month and in preparation for the Executive Director leadership change, the Mattress Factory transitioned the role of Dr. Ian Alden Russell, who had joined the organization in February 2021 to bring artistic direction to the Mattress Factory’s ongoing strategic planning process.

The Mattress Factory, with Russell’s leadership, successfully revamped its artistic program to renew its commitment to centering artists’ voices – decentering the institution’s voice and implementing new models for exhibition programming. Russell will continue to engage with the Museum as a consultant, providing guidance through the Executive Director transition.

Russell states: “There are few institutions in the world that put artists first in the way the Mattress Factory does. It has been an honor to work with Hayley and the Board and Staff to guide the Mattress Factory through the difficult times of the COVID-19 pandemic and help the organization complete its leadership transition. I look forward to ongoing work as a consultant to the Board and Staff, and I am enthusiastic about exploring new opportunities to support the City of Pittsburgh and the incredible arts community that makes this such a special place to call home.”

Haldeman states: “I am incredibly grateful to Ian for his dedication to the Mattress Factory and his skill, creativity and care in guiding our artistic program over the last year, alongside our Exhibitions and Archives Departments. Through his work and that of our entire staff and Board, the Mattress Factory today is strong and ready for this next chapter.”

Strategic Plan Update

In December 2021, the Mattress Factory also completed a new strategic plan, to cover 2022–2024. The new Strategic Plan reinforces the institution’s 45-year legacy of supporting artists, with a reenergized commitment to serving as a process-driven institution.

As part of the Strategic Plan and following months of review during the pandemic, the Mattress Factory also restructured its Education Department earlier this year. “We created and revamped certain positions, as well as sunset a few existing programs and roles, in order to deliver renewed, targeted focus on three core areas: artist programs, in-gallery engagement, and Northside relationships,” states Haldeman. “We recognized that needs have evolved during the pandemic and our multi-year organizational restructure, and we are very excited to continue offering a dynamic array of learner-centered educational and community programs.”

View the full Press Release.