Monday, December 5, 2011

Free museums for students

Point Park students can now experience the polka-dotted mannequins of Yayoi Kusama’s Repetitive VisionWinifred Lutz’s urban garden and many other pieces of installation art at Pittsburgh’s Mattress Factory museum for free.
Students can also get free admission to the Carnegie Museums of Art and Natural History in Oakland as part of a program that began January 1, 2011.
One of the Mattress Factory's most popular exhibits Yayoi Kusama's,
Repetitive Vision, features three white female mannequins covered in
red dots surrounded by mirrored walls and and ceilings.
In the latest move, The Mattress Factory signed a contract with Point Park University that gives students free admission with a valid student ID. The admissions partnership with Point Park began on August 29.
Kelsey Patsch, Administrative Support/Weekend Supervisor for The Mattress Factory, set up the admissions partnership with Point Park. Patsch said the decision to offer free admission was made based on the fact that other universities in the area have this opportunity and that Point Park has a “really close affiliation with the arts.”
Located on the Mexican War Streets in the North Side of Pittsburgh, The Mattress Factory features contemporary installation art. Every year, artists from around the world come to create their works while living at the museum. The pieces are often the size of the entire room which allows visitors to walk around in the art.
The art often deals with topics that are relevant to a younger generation such as political or socioeconomic issues. A recent exhibit called Neighbo(u)rhood explored the intricacy of living together and feelings of belonging, identity, and sense of community.
“It’s something that the student body would want to connect with,” Patsch said.
“The Mattress Factory is a really great resource for students. We can provide programming for Point Park students,” she said, “that maybe a bigger organization would skim over.”
Beginning last winter, the Carnegie Museums of Art and Natural History also began offering free admission with a valid Point Park student ID.
Leigh Kish, manager of communications and media relations at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History, hopes that Point Park students will take advantage of free admission “to come enjoy the art.”
“There’s not that many free activities for students,” Kish said.
“We have two museums that have great permanent exhibitions and there’s plenty to see all year round,” said Kish.
Both the Carnegie Museum of Art and the Carnegie Museum of Natural History feature world class international collections.
In the natural history museum, students can check out one of the best dinosaur exhibits in the world. Other exhibits feature American Indians, minerals and gems, Ancient Eygpt and various types of wildlife from around the world.
Students can currently check out Population Impact, an ongoing exhibit on how humans are affecting the world’s ecosystems. Another ongoing exhibit, Lord of the Crane Flies, includes specimens, video, photos and illustrations about crane flies and why they are important to our planet.
The Carnegie Museum of Art features everything from French impressionist paintings to Egyptian sculptures. Contemporary film, video, and photography are also part of the art museum.
Until December 31, students can see Palladio and His Legacy: A Transatlantic Journey, a collection of original drawings from Andrea Palladio, one of the world’s most influential architects.
Another ongoing exhibit is Handmade: Contemporary Craft in Ceramic, Glass, and Wood. The last 70 years in studio craft movement is shown through 65 pieces of artwork.
Kish was also happy to report that since the beginning of the year through the end of July, about 300 Point Park students have taken advantage of the free admission.
Tara Brandau, a junior photography major at Point Park, said that previously, museums were “not a top priority to spend money on in college.”  Now with the free admission, she is more likely to visit.
“Art is an important part of life and people should be exposed to it and appreciate it,” Brandau said.
Now with free admission to these great Pittsburgh museums, Point Park students can do just that.
Upcoming Exhibits
The Mattress Factory:
 Sites of Passage
September 9, 2011 – January 8, 2012
An Egyptian art exhibition featuring artists from both Egypt and the United States.
Hans Peter Kuhn
October 6, 2001 – January 1, 2050
Hans Peter Kuhn’s light installation made specifically for the roof of The Mattress Factory will be on display.
 Factory Installed
October 28, 2011 – February 26, 2012
Juried show featuring Pablo Valbuena, Mariana Manhaes, Natalia Gonzalez, Nika Kupyrova, Than Htay Maung, and Veronica Ryan.
Carnegie Museum of Art:
Picturing the City: Downtown Pittsburgh, 2007-2010
September 23, 2011–March 25, 2012
Nine photographers from Pittsburgh show their city through its parks, rivers, architecture and people.
Teenie Harris, Photographer: An American Story
October 29, 2011­–April 8, 2012
Charles “Teenie” Harris was an African American photographer who worked for the Pittsburgh Courier and captured life during the Civil Rights and Jim Crow era. Nearly a thousand of his photographs will be on display.
Carnegie Museum of Natural History:
 M is for Museum
October 15, 2001 – August 30, 2012
An interactive, hands-on exhibit that goes behind the scenes of the museum.
 RACE: Are We So Different? 
September 28, 2013–April 30, 2014
The exhibition explores the history and science of race, how people live with it and research that can change how we understand it.
For more information on current and future exhibitions, visit,, and
How to get there!
The Mattress Factory:
From downtown Pittsburgh take the Route 13 – BELLEVUE TO WEST VIEW bus.
Get off at Brighton Rd at Taylor.
Head north on Brighton Rd toward N Taylor Ave.
Turn right on to Sampsonia Way.
The Carnegie Museums:
From downtown you can take:
Get off at the dinosaur statue (the stop after the intersection at Bigelow Blvd and Schenley Drive).
The Carnegie Museums will be on your right.
There are more ways to reach these museums. For more information on how to get to there, visit to plan your car, bus, or bicycle route.

Published in Volume 1 of To The Point on page 4 and at

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