We all need more art in our lives. But what if instead of you going to the art, the art comes to you? This is exactly what the Mattress Factory and Sibyls Shrine have done with their experimental satellite gallery called “ALTAR”. ALTAR engages with the public outside of the formal exhibition space by embedding art directly in the neighborhood.

Art in general offers enriching, thought-provoking, and conversation-starting experiences. But the five “ALTAR” works do each of those things in spades.  

Whether you are contemplating Tara Fay Coleman’s “Distance” or Anqwenique Kinsel’s “Legacy” or Olivia Guterson’s “Learning My Own Name” or “The Need for Black Refuge feat. Astral Sea IV” by Tsedaye Makonnen or “this too is fertile ground” written by janera solomon you will find yourself engaged with what is before you. 

Where exactly can you experience the ALTAR experiment? Just look around you. The works of these artists are viewable via a digital art installation on more than 27,000 display boards across the city.

Thanks to a collaborative partnership with Steel City Media, art and advertising have merged to bring a unique experience to everyone as they go about their day-to-day lives. 

“Advertising is the clash of culture and commerce. Our partnership with Mattress Factory is special because it’s not about commerce, which separated it from our usual ad placements or sales pitches. It allows both organizations to explore emerging media, and ultimately inspire people who are not ever going to step foot in the museum, which are probably the people who should see this exhibit the most. “

Jacob Vilcek, Steel City Media

The experimental intent, developed with curator Jessica Gaynelle Moss, was to concentrate these boards in the locations of the city with the highest and lowest number of Black women in the city. Some of these neighborhoods include the band of neighborhoods from Upper Lawrenceville to East Hills (including the Homewood neighborhoods), Marshall-Shadeland, Squirrel Hill (N&S), Summer Hill and Worthview Heights.

While you never know exactly which art will be on which screen just be sure to look around you as you visit places like Diesel Barbershop, Etage Athletic Club, any SPIN scooter dock, any Giant Eagle store in the 15218, 15217, 15120, 15212, and 15232 zip codes, Aden Market, and more. 

To some people visiting an art gallery may seem too intimidating, but when the art gallery visits you you discover that art –in a gallery or otherwise— is meant not as intimidation, but as an invitation into a conversation. 

To have that artist-to-audience conversation via the ALTAR satellite gallery catch the digital display boards between now and the end of August. Learn more by visiting https://mattress.org/altar-satellite-gallery/.

This content was provided by a local, independent contributor to Made in PGH, a lifestyle blog.
Mo Macel

Mo is a pun-loving Pittsburgher who likes to take photos and write. When not focusing on her kiddos, you'll find her pursuing happiness and working on living the American Dream via one craft beer at a time. She blogs at givegodyouryes.com and fullhipster.com.

No Comments Yet

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.