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Mattress Factory presents SHRINE

June 17–December 30, 2022

SHRINE is a tripartite event that honors the building of holy places as sites of resistance and liberation struggle and is presented by The Mattress Factory (MF), Sibyls Shrine, and Pittsburgh-based artist and curator Jessica Gaynelle Moss.

Through December 30, 2022, SHRINE will feature brand-new immersive works by six artists that combine technology with age-old rituals, the spiritual and the material, and the created and natural worlds. SHRINE sheds light on each artist’s method and method of self-love, self-preservation, and resistance. The Monterey Annex of MF becomes a place of rebirth, exploration, and individual and group healing.

Mommies Vs. Aunties by Naomi Chambers is a humorous book with a strong focus on wellbeing, self-actualization, and health. Before a massive goal, a mock soccer field, concrete cones, and a television showing Chambers teaching other Black mothers and aunts life skills (juggling = balancing work and play) stand. They invite viewers to work through their own struggles and celebrate victories.

Reneé Cox investigates Black identity through photography, collage, and film, displacing religious symbols from paradigms dominated by white culture with the body. Cox worked with SoulRounded, an interdisciplinary group of Carnegie Mellon University students, on Soul Culture. This collaboration produced and created new works utilizing projection mapping and other interactive technologies using Cox’s Soul Culture photography over the course of 14 weeks.

In Mary Martin’s book A Constant Struggle for Reciprocity, a tea ceremony is held in a serene blue chamber that is furnished with several tiny items and jars made of clay, wood, fiber, and glass. These act as receptacles for the spiritual and material worlds, having the capacity to give and receive. The use of double-spouted vessels and linked weaving techniques serve to illustrate this reciprocity.

Brightly colored cotton string that spans entire rooms in LaKeisha Wolf’s How Deep Is Your Love occupies space and serves as a constant reminder of one’s spiritual and personal development. Gemstones, crystals, salts, and other natural materials that awaken the senses further charge the surroundings. Wolf’s medicine wheel, which is comprised of medications manufactured from sustainably gathered plants, serves as the centerpiece.

The art of Alisha B. Wormsley emphasizes a “thriving radical Black dimension.” Power, portals, and remnants: The Afterlife is a gateway to a tranquil nothingness and a starting place for travel to the secure Black realm. This poem provides peeks into science fiction, sister and motherhood, and family dreamscapes. “Pythia Is A Black Girl’s Name” by opera singer Li Harris welcomes audiences. Wormsley’s “children of NAN” archive is featured on wall projections and customized salon chairs.

sarah huny young’s 7 is a lush, grotto sanctuary blanketed with vines of ivy, eucalyptus, and wisteria housing photographs of six towering Black goddesses who live harmoniously where cultural lines are nonexistent. Each goddess ties into motherhood, fertility, vengeance and rage. “7”, a symbolic number, is used by the artist to remind “every Black woman who steps in this space that self-preservation begins with a worship within one’s self…” 

SHRINE also brings art to the community with two additional programs:
–SANCTUARY, a free block-party, held on June 17, 2022 to honor local Black entrepreneurs and small businesses. Featured artists: Schereéya, Marietta Altenor, Dail Chambers, Nikki Delice, Chere Gordon, Desa Kishar, and Tiara LaShawna.
–ALTAR, an experimental satellite gallery engages the broader public across display boards throughout Pittsburgh. Artists: Tara Fay Coleman, Olivia Guterson, Anqwenique Kinsel, Tsedaye Makonnen and janera solomon. Runs through August 31, 2022. 

SHRINE includes written contributions by poet Camille Posey, writer janera solomon and editor Gwendolyn Mitchell, and features Public Programs by artists Dail Chambers and Alecia Dawn Young. The exhibition’s visual branding was designed by artist and MF Designer, Cori Robinson.  

For further information, contact: Michael J. Gibson, [email protected] 

Located in Pittsburgh’s Northside, The Mattress Factory was founded in 1977 with a mission to say “Yes” to artists. MF hosts artists from around the world and around the corner who create site-specific installation art. MF is also home to installations by Greer Lankton, James Turrell, Yayoi Kusama and more.

Mattress Factory
500 Sampsonia Way
Pittsburgh, PA 15212
Hours: Wednesday 11am–8pm,
Thursday–Sunday 11am–6pm

T +1 412 231 3169
[email protected]
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