Tough Art
Courtesy Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh.

Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh
Through January 2017
10 a.m. — 5 p.m.

Find out why art is tough stuff and tons of fun at the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh.

Courtesy Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh.

Marking 10 years of Tough Art, the latest edition of the museum‘s innovative residency program features four imaginative, playful and immersive environments open to all ages through January 2016.

Ready to get tough?

First, head to the “Cool Stuff Room” in the museum’s Theater to see giant bubbles created and launched from Nicholas Hanna’s Bubble Device #5, a first-of-its-kind invention for the Los Angeles-based artist. Keep your eyes on the floating forms as they move fluidly throughout space and morph into new shapes right before your very eyes.

Next, pop into the Garage to take a seat with a family member or friend and provide the power for Anne Lily’s machine To Conjugate. Move your seat up and down to discover how your own body generates real energy that is gathered and stored inside large, spinning red wheels. Watch as the wheels’ momentum is transferred back to the seats when the motion stops.

Courtesy Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh.

Hear with your eyes and see with your ears (huh?) when you visit Stephen Malinowski’s immersive multi-sensory installation, Music Animation Machine. Follow the animated graphical scores as they are projected across the floor, discover how beautiful musical effects are invented by composers using combinations of musical notes, and experience sound in entirely new ways.

Courtesy Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh.

Rounding out Tough Art is Fist-Sized Survival, an ongoing project created by New York City-based artist Nobuho “Nobi” Nagasawa. A collaboration between the artist, children in Fukushima, Japan, and children in Pittsburgh, the work is an evolving tribute to the “miracle lone pine”—the only tree to survive among 70,000 that were destroyed by the devastating tsunami of 2011.

Inspired by the natural instinct of survival and the resilience of pine cones, Nagasawa started her artwork using a fist-sized amount of clay. She then invited children from Fukushima and Pittsburgh to create symbolic pine cones to add to the collaborative work. On November 8 & 9, Nagasawa will return to the museum to present an Artist Talk and work with visitors to create a bed of leaves for the pine cones, which will be placed at the base of Fukushima’s only surviving fir tree.

Tough Art 2016 was curated by Claire Pillsbury, program director at the Exploratorium in San Francisco.

Looking for more events? Read our 12 Pittsburgh events not to miss in SeptemberEverything you need to know about Pittsburgh concerts in September and 10 great family adventures in Pittsburgh this September feature stories.

Jennifer Baron

Jennifer has worked at the Mattress Factory, Brooklyn Museum of Art and Dahesh Museum of Art and is co-author of Pittsburgh Signs Project: 250 Signs of Western Pennsylvania. She also is co-coordinator...