Upcoming Artists

Fall 2021

Sample Work

Gavin Benjamin is a multi-faceted artist born in Guyana and raised in Brooklyn. His current work focuses on his long-time interest in flowers, still-life, landscapes, portraits, and collage mixed with courtly painting traditions; a mash-up of sorts.
Heads of State takes inspiration from Benjamin's family and friends, honoring their lives and ancestry while marrying today’s culture with the past. It’s a colorful world, conjuring an intersection of media, fashion, politics, pop culture and design.
Naomi Chambers is a Pittsburgh-based painter and assemblage artist; she also runs The Flower House in Wilkinsburg. The Flower House is a creative space cultivated by group-centered artists who practice cooperative economics to empower women and families.
Justin Emmanuel Dumas' work understands the surface as narrative, marks, abrasions, wounds, and repairs that become gesture. The combined presence of these gestures manifest as the spectral evidence of human agency and present a moment for re-collection and the excavation of public memory.
Sun-dried serpent, iron bar, and oil on bees wax.
Rabbit skin glue, paper pulp, oil, pigment, iron acetate and wood on canvas.
Njaimeh Njie is a photographer, filmmaker, and multimedia producer. Her practice centers everyday people, narratives, and landscapes, with a particular focus on how black people perceive themselves and their experiences in the places they call home.
City on a Hill is a series of nine collages exploring issues in the contemporary social and political American landscape, as well as visions for a more humane future. Each contains a documentary photo captured by Njie, combined with miscellaneous magazine imagery.
City on a Hill is a series of nine collages exploring issues in the contemporary social and political American landscape, as well as visions for a more humane future. Each contains a documentary photo captured by Njie, combined with miscellaneous magazine imagery.
Harrison Kinnane Smith is an artist whose work explores the interactions between material systems (ecologies, commercial networks) and immaterial structures (policies, ideologies, social culture). Harrison lives in Pittsburgh, where he works as an art educator and an editor of the Bunker Review.
Photo credit: Meghan Olson
Gavin Benjamin
Naomi Chambers
Justin Dumas
Njaimeh Njie
Harrison Smith

Residency Program

The Mattress Factory’s artistic program is focused on the commission, presentation and collection of new site-specific installations that are developed in residency. Each installation is conceived for and executed in the space in which the public sees it. The work is integrated into the site and depends on its relationship to the setting for its final effect.

Since 1977, the Mattress Factory has provided space and resources for more than 750 artists to make site-specific works. Each year, eight to twelve new works open to the public and continue on public view for four to six months. At the end of the exhibition period, works are removed, and the galleries are returned to their original condition.

Residencies range from one week to two months, with an average of three to four weeks. The artists determine the length of time they wish to work, and the schedule is designed to provide maximum on-site staff support for each artist. Professional carpenters, plasterers and metal-workers participate in the installation process as needed, and the curatorial staff locates materials -- bags of human hair, miles of barbed wire, tons of paraffin wax, insect larvae -- whatever the artist needs. The staff locates equipment to fill artists’ requests, such as cooling a space to below freezing temperatures, or lining a room with LED screens.

There are currently no open calls.