Mattress Factory holds ‘Art + Conversation,’ more to come


Photo by Alyse Horn
Detroit Artist Scott Hocking talking about his installation “Coronal Mass Ejection.”


By Alyse Horn

On Thursday, January 30 the Mattress Factory held and An Evening of Art + Conversation with Detroit Artist Scott Hocking.

This was the first of a series of events that the Mattress Factory will be holding.

“We are looking forward to expanding upon the ‘Art + Conversation’ format with a series of ongoing programs that connects the audience directly to Mattress Factory’s artists with interactive, hands-on activities combined with good food and drink in a social atmosphere,” Alexis Tragos, director of museum advancement, said.

At the event with Hocking, attendees were able to have one-on-one conversation with the artist, explore the museum galleries after-hours and also make their own Valentines with supplies provided by Mattress Factory.

Hocking’s installation, Coronal Mass Ejection, is featured on the lower level of the museum. His inspiration for the piece evolved during his first visit to Pittsburgh while he was discovering the city the surrounding regions.

Hocking was most fascinated by a remaining hot-metal train car he found at Carrie Furnace in Rankin. He used the torpedo car, along with biblical figures he found at an abandoned Bible theme park, to create a piece that represented masculine, feminine, creation and destruction.

“Beauty can be found in all kinds of transformative,” Hocking said.

Hocking said that alchemy was also an influence of the installation, which connects directly with the name of the piece. Coronal comes from the work corona, which means sun. This represents 2013, the year of the solar maximum.

Tragos said there was a great turnout for the event, but hopes that more people participate in the upcoming event with Detroit Artist Jessica Frelinghuysen on March 14 and 15.

At 8 p.m. on Friday, March 14, there will be a Northside Pub Crawl + Story Collecting Adventure led my Frelinghuysen. The crawl is $5 and reservations are required at space is limited.

At 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 15, there will be a potluck and community reading titled Good Tyme Writers Buffet at Mattress Factory. It is $5 to attend or free with a shared dish. There will also be a cash bar.

Tragos said the potluck will be “a boredom conquering literary smorgasbord… featuring Andrew Edmond’s Vinyl Showcase and six writers.”

The featured writers are Sherrie Flick, Steve Hughs, Joy Katz, Lori Jakiela, Daniel McCloskey and Dave Newman.

Tragos said the writers will be sharing readings on the subject of neighborhood related to Jessica Frelinghuysen’s current installation “My City is Your City.”

About the Artist: Jessica Frelinghuysen sculpts objects and events to help negotiate social anxieties and continually seeks to reconcile the separation between the individual and society. When encountering a new place, she will usually spend a long time observing, sketching, talking to people and trying to figure how she fits into a particular environment. She is not afraid of the absurd, in fact, she appreciates the importance of humor as a vehicle.

Frelinghuysen holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Printmaking from the Rhode Island School of Design and a Master of Architecture Degree from Cranbrook Academy of Art, in Michigan. Her work is in the current MF exhibition Detroit: Artists in Residence. She has been awarded artist residencies at the Headlands Center for the Arts in California, Sculpture Space in New York, Anderson Ranch Center for the Arts in Colorado, Vermont Studio Center and the Philadelphia Art Hotel. She has lived in New York, Rome, Minneapolis and currently Hamtramck, Michigan, the subject of her current Mattress Factory installation, in which she documents interactions, sounds, and experiences of living in this small city nestled within the bosom of Detroit.

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