press release

New installations created in-residence by five Pittsburgh-based artists. Artists in Residence is being held in conjunction with the Pittsburgh Biennial.


Danny Bracken is a multi-disciplinary artist whose practice explores experiential interactions between video, sound, and physical space, ranging from immersive, multi-sensory installations to small-scale sculptures. Music often plays a central role in his visual works, creating an entry point to engage with the physical and conceptual components of a piece.

Ryder Henry creates models of cities that replicate real places in his neighborhood (true to actual scale), combining fantasy sci-fi motifs like space ships and futuristic “Jetson-style” buildings with contemporary architecture. Henry’s preferred medium is recycled cardboard—often collecting boxes right off of the street.

John Peña is a multi-disciplinary artist who engages with the natural world to reveal the subtle relationships between humans and nature. Through his art, Peña tries to communicate with the environment around him, often documenting a memorable moment or encounter. Those experiences are then pieced together to create a larger story that evokes appreciation for the ordinary moments in daily life.

Benjamin Sota is founder and artistic director of Zany Umbrella Circus, a socially conscious street theatre/circus company that exists to strengthen communities through education and folk artistry. Focusing on puppetry, music, acrobatics, live performance, and storytelling, Zany Umbrella Circus uses the art of circus to encourage creativity and cooperation.

Kathleen Montgomery explores the dialogue between an object and the space that surrounds it through a variety of media such as drawing, print, sculpture and site-specific installations. Montgomery’s residency at the Mattress Factory will allow her to utilize the entire 2,000 square foot space available at the museum’s 1414 Monterey Street Gallery. This early-twentieth-century building with first-floor storefront and domestically-scaled rooms on two additional floors will provide Montgomery with a physical “sketchbook” to focus on the tangible activity of creation through the exploration of the materials within an enclosed studio environment. This will be the first time in more than 20 years that Montgomery’s body of work will be shown as part of a cohesive exhibition.

Generous support for Artists in Residence is provided by the AG Foundation, Allegheny Regional Asset District, an Anonymous Donor, The Heinz Endowments, National Endowment for the Arts, The Pittsburgh Foundation, Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, the Puffin Foundation, and the Roy A. Hunt Foundation. With special thanks to the Mattress Factory Board of Directors and museum members.