Since 1977, this art space has hosted the avant-garde. It now occupies several buildings in the Mexican War Streets neighborhood, and always has something surprising on, from pitch-black sensory deprivation rooms to surreal caricature galleries to oddly angled experiments in room layout. The summer Urban Garden Party event is always popular – it's a fundraiser party held in June every year and over 90 restaurants cater food and beverages for it.
Why is it called the Mattress Factory?
The name originates from the original owners of the building and its purpose – Stearns and Foster Mattress Factory Warehouse. The gallery (they also refer to themselves as a laboratory due to the nature of the art) now occupies three historic buildings in Pittsburgh's North Side.
It is considered one of the best installation art galleries in the USA and the exhibits are often completely subversive and engaging in the best possible way. Keep in mind that this is installation art, not interactive art. The gallery does not allow visitors to touch the works and some may not be suitable for younger visitors. Always ask at reception if you're not sure.
How much is it?
Tickets are $20 each and children (6 and under) get in for free. If you are attending with young children, check that all the exhibits are suitable for them as some installations contain mature content. Tickets for students are $15 and admission is free for students from local universities.
Tours led by Museum Educators are available to book for $10. There are sometimes interactive classes available for kids in which they're guided by artists to create their own works.