Michael Olijnyk
MO_ Mark Perrott_Medium


Michael Olijnyk, Co-Director of the Mattress Factory museum, shares his plans for the week of September 8th. Michael lives in a loft on top of the world-renowned museum of contemporary art, and has been a resident of the North Side for 34 years. In addition to being a curator, he is an artist and a lifelong collector.

Monday, September 8th
4:30 a.m. – Wake up. When I’m up, I’m up, so I always start my day very early. Every morning begins with coffee and The New York Times.
6 a.m. – I spend 90 minutes at the Sarah Heinz House every morning. I go early before it’s crowded, and alternate cardio and weights every day.
9 a.m. – Swing by Breadworks to pick up focaccia for staff, artists and exhibitions installers. I try to check-in with each staff member every morning and Breadworks is a favorite snack as I make my rounds.
1 p.m. – Lunch at Legends. It’s a great neighborhood spot that has a delicious grilled shrimp salad.
3:30 p.m. – Finalize lighting designs for Kathleen Montgomery’s installation at 1414 Monterey Street. Since the museum has three gallery buildings and artist apartments in the Mexican War Streets, I often stroll around and check out the neighborhood happenings.

Tuesday, September 9th
11 a.m. – Walk-through of the new exhibition Artists in Residence with museum educators and artists Danny Bracken, Ryder Henry, Kathleen Montgomery, John Peña and Benjamin Sota. The museum is going to start offering drop-in tours later this month for the very first time, so we will discuss plans.
1:30 p.m. – Meeting with Bob Sendall, chef and owner of All In Good Taste Productions, to discuss the menu for the “Friends of the Louvre” visit that the museum will be hosting in October.
6 p.m. – Dinner at Redfin Blues. One of the most beautiful views in Pittsburgh, and they have the best mojito in town—besides my own.

Wednesday, September 10

9 a.m. – Weekly staff meeting. We typically have breakfast and fruit on hand in case the meeting runs a little long. Priory Fine Pastries has amazing baked goods, so they’re a favorite around the museum.
12:30 p.m. – Lunch in the MF Café. Coca Café in Lawrenceville supplies all of the food in the museum’s café, so everything is always fresh and delicious.
5:30pm – Head over to the National Aviary for a reception to meet the new leadership.

Thursday, September 11

11 a.m. – Get ready to host a lunch for museum funders in the loft Barbara Luderowski and I own on the 5th and 6th Floor of the Mattress Factory. I enjoy cooking, and I’ve found Giant Eagle Market District often has the best offerings.
4 p.m. – Site visit and tour of the museum with National Endowment for the Arts Chairman Jane Chu and Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts Philip Horn.
6 p.m. – Dinner at Lola Bistro, an amazing little place a few blocks from the museum, with Mattress Factory Board Chairman Dr. Michael White. The husband and wife team at Lola makes everything in-house, and they have the most incredible honey cake. I also love the roasted whole trout.

Friday, September 12th
6 p.m. – Artists in Residence Opening Reception. Lungs Face Feet, one of the MF’s favorite bands, will be playing, and John Marshall Catering is roasting a pig. Long-time partner Penn Brewery is providing the museum with beer and Vanilla Pastry is serving 10 different cupcake flavors handpicked by the staff.

Saturday, September 13th
6:30 a.m. – Stop by a favorite flea market, Trader Jack’s. You can get anything from socks and fake designer handbags to cool mid-century modern furniture and one-of-a-kind Pittsburgh industrial objects. You never know what you’ll find, which is why I try to go every week.
9:30 a.m. – Check out new art and design magazines at Barnes & Noble.
10:30 a.m. – Drive by the East Park Flea Market. Another great place to find new-to-me items.
5 p.m. – Exhibition opening at be2, a gallery on Butler Street in Lawrenceville, for a new show curated by Vicky Clark. Supporting the arts in town is a priority of mine, so I attend as many openings as possible.

Sunday, September 14th
5:30 a.m. – Leave for the Hanna’s Town Flea Market which is about 30 miles east of Pittsburgh. It’s a nice drive, so it’s always a fun visit even if you don’t buy anything, and instead just enjoy the gorgeous location on a farm.

Photo by Mark Perrott.

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...