Children's Museum

Currently Closed

Adult and child enjoying Urchin Searchin Sound from Tough Art 2017

Artist Opportunities

Over the course of the year, the Museum works with artists and invites them to participate with Museum staff and visitors in a wide variety of ways to generate interactive fine artworks.

Tough Art Residency Program

Update:  Feb 2021

The Tough Art residency is one of the Children's Museum's longest running and most rewarding programs. Each year it is a pleasure to work with artists and see what they create.

COVID-19 has forced us to re-evaluate the timing of the next Tough Art residency, as we are continuing to postpone in-person activity at the Children's Museum and plan for our reopening.

We believe the magic of the Tough Art residency comes from the on-the-floor prototyping, where children interact with the art. So we are currently focused on restarting the Tough Art residency program in 2021, when we resume in-person activity at the Children’s Museum.

Thank you to all of the artists who have applied for the residency for your patience. Due to the length of the Museum’s closure, we will be asking all interested artists to reapply to express their interest when the residency returns, including applications that were kept on file from 2020.  We will let you know when the Tough Artist application window reopens, and strongly encourage you to reapply at that time.

We take great pride in supporting artists by hosting residencies, staging exhibitions and commissioning site specific art works, and we look forward to the time when we can safely restart these programs.

We will continue to explore virtual residency projects as we cultivate the best ways to connect artists and their work to our audience.

Tough Art @ Home 2020

Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh (CMP) is dedicated to fostering the talent and innovation of artists as experience makers; inviting artists to work through a multitude of programs and projects; and presenting excellent contemporary art to our visitors.

The Tough Art Residency Program, which began in 2007, was approaching its fourteenth year of existence in Summer 2020. Unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the Museum's subsequent closure, the residency had to be canceled for the season.   

So we began to consider alternate ways we might engage our audience and fulfill our mission.  We were inspired to identify and connect artists with our audience, and vice versa, through online engagement. This was different from the Tough Art challenge of creating interactive art for a children's museum audience - the goal of Tough Art @ Home is to create a do-it-yourself art making activity related in some way to the artist's artwork/process that inspires people to create wherever they are. 

Learn more about the 2020 Tough Art @ Home artists here.

About the Program

Created in 2007, the Tough Art artist residency program connects artists from across the spectrum of all the arts to the resources and visitors at the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh. The residency looks to expand the skills of established and emerging artists, giving them the ability to create work for one of the toughest venues for art: a children’s museum.

Selected artists generate and implement interactive, immersive and/or collaborative projects and connect the art-making process to the larger museum context and the museum visitor. Artists are tasked to make a direct impact on the visitor experience by creating an entirely new piece to be displayed in the Museum. Throughout the residency, artists prototype and evaluate their process to achieve the desired outcome.

Additional information and application information can be found here.

Past Tough Artists:

Ryder Henry
Eunice Choi
Owen Lowery

Isaac Levine
Miranda Miller and Lumi Barron
Neil Mendoza

Arvid Tomayko
and H. Gene Thompson
Megan Flod Johnson
Shohei Katayama
Robert Zacharias

Nicholas Hanna
Anne Lilly
Stephen Malinowski
Nobuho Nagasawa

Danny Bracken
Rachel Buse
Ann Tarantino

Jenna Boyles
Jesse Kauppila and Dakotah Konicek
Lindsay Packer
Stephanie Ross

Chris Beauregard
Katie Ford
Scott Garner
Isla Hansen and Luke Loeffler

John Peña
Scott Andrew & Jonathan Armistead
Jeremy Boyle & Kevin Clancy
Will Schlough

Felipe Castelblanco
Jennifer Myers and Daniel Luchman
Zach Dorn
Christina Zaris

Agnes Bolt and Arthur Jones
Nova Jiang
Amanda Long
Blaine Siegel

Anneka Herre
Ian Ingram
Matt Mets
Jennifer Van Winkle

Ben Bigelow
David Butts
Rick Gribenas
Wendy Osher

Eileen Maxson
Joey Hayes
Greg Witt
Mat Barton

F.I.N.E. Art Residency

Fresh - Innovative - Nonstop - Expression

The F.I.N.E. Artist Residency series invites artists to exhibit their work and lead programs that introduce new and exciting art and art-making techniques to Museum visitors, staff and educators. 

Previous F.I.N.E. Artists:

Asaf Elkalai

O'Ryan McGowan-Arrowroot
Kirsten Ervin
Saige Baxter
Linda Wallen

Merav Kamel
Felicia Lane Savage

Michael David Battle & Ada Rajkovic
Emily Newman

Crystal Worl
Eric Lennartson
Alexandra Bodnarchuk
Slow Danger
Iris Gottlieb
Cecilia Ebitz
Telma Schultz

Brandt Wild
Hiromi Katayama
Felicia Cooper
Veronica Simmonds

Dalia Shevin
Zena Ruiz
Zany Umbrella Circus

Zach Dorn
Steffi Mayer-Staley
Tugboat Printshop
Attack Theatre
The Drift Crew 

Stacy Innerst
Bob Ziller
Kathryn Carr
Jennifer Myers
Tsawa Monks of Gaden Jangtse Monastery
Sister I’Asia
Kate Pfeil & Mark Barlow 

Wade Kramm
La Verne Kemp
Dick Esterle
Petra Falluaux
Laura Jean McLaughlin
Michael & Jade Corle
Sibel Deren Guler 

Joana Ricou
Bovery Lee
Schmutz Company
Ron Donoughe
John Miyazawa
Amisha Gadani
Scott Andrew, Adam Atkinson, and Michael McParlane
Mayumi Matsuo

Amanda Long
Amy Johnson & JULIACKS
Cara Lynn Kleid
James Maszle

The F.I.N.E. Art Residency is supported by the Fine Foundation. Thank you!