Community Art Lab

Spend your summer exploring, creating and performing! Our interactive summer workshops allow students ages 7 to 13 to learn inside a unique museum environment and work directly with practicing artists. Participants have an opportunity to exhibit their work during a final celebration for friends and family!


E-mail with questions or for more details. MF Members may email for their discount code.



Community Art Lab Session #1

Ages 10 - 13

July 9 - 20, 2018 | 9am - 4pm

Closing Celebration: July 20, 4 - 6pm

$200 // $140 for MF Members


BUILDING OUR HEROES with Tavia La Follette

Many superheroes rise from the ashes of some sort of tragedy, but we all have obstacles to overcome and challenges to face.

In "Building Our Heroes," students consider their own history and communities. What kind of superheroes are needed and why? Do these characters have a nemesis or a sidekick? What is their power and what is their passion? In other words, what is their story?


STOP MOTION VIDEO MAKING with Sharlene Bamboat

Stop motion video students engage with the Mattress Factory’s permanent collection, using the gallery space and garden as sets and sources for props, collecting found materials, and using the site-specific galleries for creative storytelling.

Students work together in groups to create short, silent, stop motion videos. Students play various roles in the production, from building sets and costumes to acting, directing, and photographing.



Community Art Lab Session #2

Ages 7 - 9

July 30 - August 3, 2018 | 9am - 4pm

Closing Celebration: August 10, 4 - 6pm

$100 // $70 for MF Members


DO YOU SEE WHAT I HEAR? with Hudson Rush

Explore all forms of musical expression! Students in this camp learn music fundamentals through art projects and their own music-making. By the end of the week, the group will have an audio-visual performance to share with family and friends.


HOME with Rachel Fitzgerald

Explore the idea of home through photography, mixed media, literature, sculpture and collaboration. Students in this camp ultimately create small care packages for adults at Light of Life Mission who are struggling to find permanent residence. Students leave this class with a better understanding of home and its complex cultural meanings, and a greater empathy for those who struggle to find one.



Community Art Lab Session #3

Ages 7 - 9

August 6 - 10, 2018 | 9am - 4pm

Closing Celebration: August 10, 4 - 6pm

$100 // $70 for MF Members



Explore how art can complement nature and transform the outdoors! Students in this camp learn about color theory and how powerful of a role color plays in art. With a focus on natural and recycled materials, students make sculptures individually and in groups. All of the art will be installed in the Mattress Factory’s garden space for a final celebration and showcase!



Over 750 artists have created work at the Mattress Factory in the last 40 years. What did their past and present work look like? Has it changed? In this camp, students work together on a visual timeline of what was happening in Pittsburgh and in the Mexican War Streets neighborhood at various times in the museum’s history. Students create poetry and portraits, and collect objects from home to build their own personal time capsules with the help of the Mattress Factory’s archivist.