Saturday, May 24th, Noon to 5 PM
Sunday, May 25th, 1 PM to 4 PM
Saturday, May 31st, Noon to 5 PM and CLOSING PARTY 7 PM to 10 PM

After nearly two action packed years, The Tom Museum will officially close on May 31st. Below are final dates and times for public hours. Please let your friends know of the closing, as I will begin dismantling the museum in June.

Thank you to everyone who played a part in the success of the project!

Friday April 11th, 7:00 PM to 10:00 PM, FREE! OPENING RECEPTION at The Tom Museum

MIXTAPE Exhibition and Elements, a new installation by Jeremiah Johnson

On Friday April 11th, The Tom Museum will hold its final opening reception for two exciting projects.

MIXTAPE is an exhibition that surveys the diverse sound interests of people from across the country. The act of creating personal sound mixes on analog cassette tape was widely practiced in the eighties and early nineties before Compact Discs became popular. Part of the beauty of the mix tape is the imperfections of the recordings. Sound levels are always distorted. There is often background noise or the remnants of something that was recorded over. Tapes can record sound from a wide variety of sources including voice, ambient sound, vinyl records, and digital sound. Although some people copy tapes through a method known as dubbing, most mix tapes are one of a kind compilations that take time, patience and creativity to assemble. The effort involved in making a mix tape can only lead to aggravation if a cassette player "eats" a tape, leaving a tangles mess that is impossible to repair.

Participants in the MIXTAPE show include: Dean Ebben, Kristen Barca, Rick Everett, Elizabeth Schafer, Rico Gagliano, Erik Gorr, Jessie Larson, Chris Ulivo (and his pet birds), Thad Kellstadt, Kevin C. Smith, Luke Holden, William G. Evans, Lea Donatelli and Greg Cislon, Jeremiah Johnson, H. Amico, Mix Ape, Laura Marisco, artnoose, Jessica Silver and Nicholas Breinich, Matt O’Riley, Jason Rudolf, Rose Clancy, Helena Sanders, Allison Lacher and Harry Lurker. The Tom Museum has never enforced strict deadlines, so continue to arrive on a daily basis.

Listening stations are available throughout The Tom Museum. Awards for most interesting sound compilation and visual design of cassettes will be announced at the opening.

Elements is a new installation by Jeremiah Johnson located in the attic of The Tom Museum. Johnson, of Williamsport, PA has creating a painting that appears to have come to life with a tornado-like tube growing out of its center. The piece raises some interesting questions about the relationship of traditional painting to installation art. Both Elements and MIXTAPE will be on view through May 31st 2008.

Saturday April 5th, 6:30PM to 9:00PM -- ART OLYMPIC THEATRE AT THE UNION PROJECT

Art Olympic Theatre is on tour throughout Pittsburgh! In April, the event will take over the Great Hall of the Union Project, a community arts center in Highland Park. This one night only event combines the action of sports, the suspense of reality TV, and the creative energy of twelve artists in an event sure to inspire and energize! Check back for details on participating teams. Beverages and snacks provided. Art Olympic Theatre is sponsored in part by a Seed Award from the Sprout Fund. The Union Project, 801 North Negley Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15206 (Doors open at 6pm. Tickets $10 available at door only)

Exhibition: MIXTAPE

Deadline: Friday, March 21st 2008

Opening: Friday April 11, 2008, 7pm to 10pm
Show runs through May 31st, 2008

The Tom Museum seeks a variety of submissions for MIXTAPE, an exhibition that will explore the personal sound interests of people from across the country. All submissions must be recorded on audio cassette tape. All must be able to be played in a standard cassette player. Handmade decorative tape cases and booklets may accompany the submissions. Mixes can include, but are not limited to, spoken word, favorite songs, band recordings, or experimental recordings. Two Tom Museum MIXTAPE awards will be granted. (One for packaging / decoration and one for audio content.)

During the show, tapes and tape art will be on display at the museum. Visitors will have access to several listening stations in the Tom Museum to sample the custom mixes.

Please mail submissions to The Tom Museum or drop off during Tom Museum hours. Entry for the MIXTAPE show is free. All participants will be listed on The Tom Museum Website. The Tom Museum staff will take extreme care in the handling of all entries. Entering the show is at the risk of the participant. The Tom Museum will not be responsible for loss or damage to entries. Please include a SASE for return of your tapes at the end of the show. Also include name, address, phone or e-mail address, and title of the work. If work is for sale, please include sale price. The Tom Museum takes 30% commission on all sales. Only one entry per person will be accepted. A free opening reception will take place Friday, April 11th 2008 from 7pm to 10pm. For more information, please contact Tom.

2007-2008 Winter Events

NEW EXHIBITIONS! December 8th 2007 through January 13th 2008
Artist Made Books and MIMA (Miniature Museum of Modern Art)
Click here for details.

2007 Fall Events

October 6th, 6pm to 7pm - TOM MUSEUM ONE YEAR CELEBRATION!
Please note: The Tom Museum will be closed October 6 in preparation for this special event
Tom Sarver launches a new season of Tom Museum programming with a fundraiser party benefiting Tom Museum Programs. Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl will be attending. Reasons to celebrate include the Tom Museum winning the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council Mayor's Award for Public Art and the graduation of The Tom Museum from a Mattress Factory exhibit to an independent project of Tom Sarver in partnership with the Mattress Factory.
(New Hazlett Theater, Allegheny Square East, Pittsburgh, PA 15212; Tickets $65 includes admission to Art Olympic Theatre; 412-231-3169)

This event may be one of the Pittsburgh arts events of the year! Art Olympic Theatre features three teams of artists competing over 2 hours to build winning sculptural installations. The night will also feature food, beverages, audience participation games, and music by Mr. Funky and DJ Mary Mack. The theme of this Art Olympic event is SCULPTURE. West Virginia University Sculpture Professor Doug Loewen has been invited to compete against Pittsburgh team leaders Morgan Cahn and Chris Kardambikis of Encyclopedia Destructica. Tom Sarver, Mike Cuccaro, Liz Hammond and Buddy Nutt will host the event in an evening that promises to be part reality TV show, part art opening, part construction site and part theatre extravaganza. Art Olympic Theatre is sponsored in part by a Seed Award from the Sprout Fund.
(New Hazlett Theatre, Allegheny Square East, Pittsbugh, PA 15212; Doors open at 7pm; Tickets $10 at the door or call the Mattress Factory at 412-231-3169)

September 1st through October 28th - Photography at The Tom Museum
Visit the Tom Museum and discover the new, three part exhibition featuring a new installation, Peace in 2008, by Pittsburgh photographer Larry Rippel and a new collection of works by local graphic designer and photographer Robert Revay. A third element of the photography exhibition is a show titled SNAPSHOT. For this part of the show, works received from an international call for submissions will be displayed.

September 22nd - Photography Artist Reception
7pm to 10pm, Free. Come and meet featured photographers Larry Rippel and Robert Revay. Enjoy food, music and the exhibition SNAPSHOT, at this free evening reception.

Tom Museum Resident Artist: Doug Hill
Over the past year, East Pittsburgh artist Doug Hill has made many Saturday appearances at The Tom Museum. Doug has been exploring simple mechanical forms using a very unusual medium: cardboard. Doug's cardboard gears and gadgets make a strong statement about technology today. In a world where many take for granted how things work, Doug explains the complex in simple but clever ways. His choice of using cardboard to depict mechanical operations hints at the impermanence of the industrial world. Doug's cardboard creations are on display every weekend.

Call For Artists: Artist Made Books Exhibition
In November and December of 2007, The Tom Museum will be featuring an exhibit of books made by artists. Artists interested in participating should contact Tom.

October 21st - Puppet Making Workshop at The Tom Museum
1pm to 3pm, Free. (In conjunction with The Black Sheep Puppet Festival)

November 10th through December 31st - Artist Made Books at The Tom Museum
Stop in to browse through books created, printed and bound by artists!

November 11th - Bookmaking Activity
1pm to 3pm, Free. View handmade books on display and learn how to make one of your own. (Registration required)

December 8th - Artist Made Books Reception
7pm to 9pm, Free. Stop in to meet local artists exhibiting in the books exhibit. Enjoy refreshments and music.

December 12th - 2nd Annual Lunch at The Tom Museum
Ten lucky museum guests will be selected by lottery to dine at The Tom Museum. Register to win during your next visit!

2007 Summer Events

June 18 - July 25, 6:30PM-9:30PM at The Mattress Factory
Art - Tech Fusion Open Studio
Facilitated by Tom Sarver of The Tom Museum. The Mattress Factory and the Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon University present Robot 250! Robot 250 is a series of free, hands-on robot building workshops - a chance for you to tinker, explore and create robots that sense and interpret your world. New technologies are introduced each week building on the previous week's lesson. Consistent attendance is encouraged for full comprehension of subject matter. Participants can choose to come either Monday or Wednesday. Registration required. (412-231-3169 or )

Wednesday, July 25th, 7:30PM to 9PM at The Mattress Factory
Robot 250 Public Reception
Stop over to the Mattress Factory to check out robotic gadgets, experiments and sculptures created by participants in the Art - Tech Fusion Open Studio. FREE

COMMUNITY ARTLAB: Free Children's Summer Program Session 3: The Tom Museum and Puppets
Explore the art of puppetry with local artist Tom Sarver. Participants will make their own puppets and work together to develop a puppet show that will be shown in the community and at the Community Art Lab Celebration the end of the summer. Participants will also have time to explore the Tom Museum. (Especially the room filled with puppets!) For ages 7-12.
Dates: Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays for the following weeks: July 31, Aug. 1,2,3 (wk. 1) Aug. 7,8,9,10 (wk. 2) Aug. 14, 15, 16 (wk. 3) Time: 9AM-12PM
Location: The Mattress Factory, 500 Sampsonia Way
Space is limited. To register please call 412-231-3169 x 212 or email [email protected] All 3 sessions of Community ARTLab will participate in an evening celebration on Thursday, August 16th from 6-8PM.

June 23rd through August 31st
Works on Paper by The Dirty Poet.
Check out a sample of doodles and drawings by Pittsburgh artist, The Dirty Poet. Six works capture the immediate thoughts of the artist in a fresh and humorous way.

2007 Winter / Spring Events

The Tom Museum begins 2007 with an exciting lineup of new events and programs. Highlights include a free introductory drawing class for adults, visitor Olympics day and The Tom Museum Performance Festival. The Tom Museum is in a constant state of transition, as resident artist Tom Sarver experiments with new installations on a weekly basis. Since Tom lives and works in the museum, visitors encounter an interactive experience, including sketches, works in progress and personal tours by the artist. Visitors in 2006 tasted Tom's lunch, listened to his Jazz collection and made puppets. Stop in this year to check out a number of scheduled events, as well as unexpected happenings of The Tom Museum.

Fishing Month. Tom Sarver began fishing at the age of five along the Ohio River in Pittsburgh. Since then, he has fished lakes and streams across Pennsylvania. During the month of April, Tom will be conducting a field study on trout fishing in Western Pennsylvania. Tom will also be hosting a fishing workshop and he has scheduled a fishing outing for visitors. The Tom Museum Small Works Exhibition will also be taking place this month.

April 5th and 6th, 11am-3pm - DROP OFF FOR SMALL WORKS SHOW
See above for more information.

April 9th, 7pm-9pm - Fishing Basics Workshop
If you are interested in taking up fishing this year, and would like to learn some of the basics before you get out to the lake or stream, stop on over to The Tom Museum for some tips, and advice.

April 14th - Tom Museum Closed

Join Tom for a fishing derby along a nearby river. Interested participants should meet at the Tom Museum between 8:30am and 9am. Participants must have a car to follow Tom to nearby fishing location. Please bring your own fishing tackle and PA fishing license. Worms, Coffee and prizes will be provided. For more info, contact Tom.

April 28th, 8pm-10pm - Phase III and Small Works Show Reception
Stop in to check out the works of local artists participating in the Small Works Exhibition, as well as Phase III of Tom Museum. (The completion of the "Universe Room" and other installations) FREE!

April 30th and May 1, 11am-3pm - PICK UP FOR SMALL WORKS SHOW
See above for more information.

March is Gadgets and Gizmos Month at The Tom Museum. Throughout the month, Tom will be working on new inventions. A gadget-building workshop for families is scheduled for March 31st.

Tom Sarver has been producing festival-sized events like The Black Sheep Puppet Festival for years. His latest festival invention combines elements of game shows, rock concerts, reality TV and installation art into a night of experimental theater and sensory overload. The night will feature music, puppetry, refreshments, contests involving audience participation and the main event: INSTALLATION OLYMPIC THEATRE, a battle between local artists to create a winning site-specific installation in one hour. This is one event not to be missed! The festival will take place in the lobby of the Mattress Factory. $10 admission. Download the press release (Word doc).

Installation Theatre Installation Theatre Cheerleader
Team: The Contractors Team: Contra Band Team: On the Fly and Off the Cuff
All photos by Larry Rippel. Click for larger versions.

March 29th, 6pm-8pm - Tom Sarver artist talk at the Mattress Factory
Tom will lead a tour of the Tom Museum at 6pm followed by an artist talk in the Mattress Factory lobby starting at 7pm.

March 31st, 10am-12:30pm - Family Workshop: Create a Gadget
Registration required-limited class size. Artist Tom Sarver leads you through a personal tour of The Tom Museum, then you will create your own gadgets in the Mattress Factory Education Studio.

February is Olympics Month at The Tom Museum. Throughout the month, Tom will be developing games of skill and chance. Visitors may try out some of the games on February 17th.

February 7th, 7pm-9:30pm - Drawing 101
Second session. Contact Tom for more info.

February 17th, 11am-3pm - Visitor Olympics Day
Visitors on this day will be able to test out some of the games of skill and chance that Tom Sarver has developed. Tom will also be providing tips on how to build your own homemade games. Prizes will be awarded to visitors with top scores!

February 21st, 7pm-9:30pm - Drawing 101
Third session. Contact Tom for more info.

February 24th, 10am-12:30pm - Family Workshop: How to Create Your Own Games
Registration Required-limited class size. Artist Tom Sarver leads you through a personal tour of The Tom Museum, then participants will create their own games in the Mattress Factory Education Studio, and play some of the games created by Tom.

January is Health Month at The Tom Museum. Throughout the month, Tom will be reflecting on health issues in his work. A four-story tall political cartoon will continue to evolve throughout the month. Cardboard artist Doug Hill will be working at the Tom Museum. His installation, "Cardboard City" will be on view this month.

The Tom Museum will be holding a small works show for local artists in April of 2007. All artists are eligible to enter one piece. All pieces must be wall mountable and must not exceed 4"x4"x4". All works must be dropped off in person April 5th and 6th from 11am to 3pm at The Tom Museum. Pickup after the show will take place April 30th and May 1st from 11am to 3pm at The Tom Museum. Space is available on a first come, first served basis. A reception will take place Saturday, April 28th from 8pm to 10pm. Cost of entry is $10. THE MATTRESS FACTORY WILL NOT BE HANDLING SMALL WORKS ARTWORK. ALL INQURIES ABOUT THE SHOW MUST BE MADE TO THE TOM MUSUEM. FOR MORE INFO CONTACT TOM.

January 20th, 10am-7pm - 8-Hour Drawings, Allegheny College, Meadville, PA
Tom will be away from the Tom Museum this weekend participating in an all day drawing project. This event is open to the public. While Tom is away, museum staff will attend The Tom Museum. 8- Hour Drawings will be held in Allegheny College's Bowman and Penelec Galleries from January 23 through March 6th, 2007. An opening will be held Tuesday, January 23rd from 7pm - 9pm.

At the "8-Hour Drawings," Tom created a piece called "Yesterday's News." Throughout the day, Tom asked spectators to read articles from the previous days New York Times. Ideas from the stories inspired the narrative of Tom's work.

January 24th, 7pm-9:30pm - Drawing 101
Tom is offering a free, three session drawing workshop for adults at The Tom Museum. Participants will draw from still life and interior architecture of the museum. Space is limited to six adults. Participants should bring a sketchbook and drawing pencils. To register, contact Tom or stop in to register in person.

January 27th, 11am-2pm - Puppet Making at The Tom Museum
Back by popular demand, puppeteer Tom Sarver will be holding a visitor puppet making activity. Adults and children visiting the museum between 11am and 2pm will have the opportunity to make their own rod puppet to take home. This event is free with Mattress Factory admission.

2006 Events

Food Month. Cooking demonstrations and experimental performances will be featured, as well as taste testing and celebrity guest appearances.

Pittsburgh Visionary Artist Steve Smith will have works on display at the Tom Museum from November 18th through December 10th, 2006.

December 12th - Lunch at The Tom Museum
Taste a variety of delicious foods created and prepared by Tom, Executive chef of The Tom Museum and author of Cooking With Sticks, A Campfire Guidebook. Tickets to this event will be available by lottery only. Registration for the lottery must be done in person at The Tom Museum between September 9th and November 26th. Guests will be notified by December 1st.

December 16th - Tom Museum Phase II Opening
8PM - 11PM. $5 suggested donation
Stop by and see the new work that artist Tom Sarver has been making at The Tom Museum, including a sneak preview of the mysterious third floor!
Parking Available in the Mattress Factory lot.

Dreams and Visions Month. Works by guest artists will be displayed. Lectures and demonstrations by guest artists will be featured throughout the month.

November 18th - Gallery Opening and Jazz Night Featuring work by Pittsburgh Visionary Artist Steve Smith
7PM - 10PM. $5 suggested donation
Enjoy music by DJ Sarver Express, Refreshments, and new art by East Pittsburgh artist Steve Smith
Parking Available in the Mattress Factory lot.

November 24th - Drawing Performance
10 am to 4 pm, Six hour drawing performance.

Puppet Month. In collaboration with The Black Sheep Puppet Festival. Puppet related activities, performances and exhibits will be featured.

October 14th - Make Your Own Puppet
11 am - 4 pm. Make your own puppet day. Visitors will have the opportunity to make their own puppet character to take home! Space in workshop available on a first come, first serve basis.

Museum visitors making puppets

October 15 - Puppetry Lecture
2 pm. Pittsburgh puppetry historian Gregory Knipling will be giving a lecture titled, "Life With Strings," the history of marionette theater with stops along the way for hand, shadow and rod puppets. The Puppetry Lecture is free and open to the public. Seating is limited.


above photographs by Larry Rippel

September 9th - Opening and Ribbon Cutting Ceremony
12 pm. The museum will stay open until 10 pm. Enjoy music, food and puppetry demonstrations.

September 10th - March of The Tom Museums
On September 10th, the first fifty visitors to the museum received hand-painted collectibles. Tom's "Mini-Museum" collectibles will soon be available for purchase at The Mattress Factory and The Tom Museum Gift Shop.

©2006, Tom Sarver. All Rights Reserved.