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John Peña

Mattress Factory

For the Mattress Factory, I will be creating a series of small and large three-dimensional word balloons that will be supported in space with wooden scaffolding and beams. I am exploring how the act of daily speech (while mostly invisible) has the capacity to carry a significant intellectual and emotional weight. When manifest in the physical world, these words can be light and other times become so heavy that they need to be braced in order to remain in the world.


John Peña is a multidisciplinary artist who makes art as a way of exploring the natural world andhis daily interactions. A few of John's projects include: racing with clouds, sending a letter to the Pacific Ocean every day for the last ten years and creating a pirate radio station that played extinct birds sounds. John has attended an number of residencies including Skowhegan, Bemis & The Fine Arts Work Center. He was also the recipientof the 2012 Carol R. Brown Creative Achievement Award as An Emerging Artist. He currently lives and works in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.