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CP Photo: Amanda Waltz
The Mattress Factory has chosen a new executive director, and the name might be familiar to those in the Pittsburgh arts community.
The North Side contemporary art museum named David Oresick as the new executive director. Oresick currently serves as the executive director and chief curator of the Silver Eye Center for Photography in Garfield.
Oresick will take over his new role on May 16, replacing current executive director Hayley Haldeman. Haldeman, who was first appointed as the museum's interim executive director
in 2019, will step down at the end of May, following a two-week transition period.
Haldeman and her family are also expecting a second child in June 2022.
“I’m incredibly excited for David to assume this role," says Haldeman in an email to Pittsburgh City Paper
. "He is the perfect individual to lead the Mattress Factory through its next chapter, particularly as the museum emerges out of COVID-19 and a challenging transition period. He is a proven leader in the arts and a skilled visionary, with a strong drive to support our artists and work.”
Oresick brings an extensive background working in the arts, including an eight-year tenure at Silver Eye, during which he "developed and implemented a major strategic plan and million-dollar campaign to build out and relocate the institution from its prior location in Pittsburgh’s South Side," according to a press release. Among his many accomplishments at Silver Eye, he's credited with curating over 20 gallery exhibitions, with a focus on "supporting emerging and mid-career artists," and co-creating the Silver List, a "new model to highlight diverse voices in photography."
Before Silver Eye, Oresick served as a manager at Light Work at Syracuse University and as a curatorial assistant at the Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago.
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Photo: Courtesy of the Mattress Factory
“I am incredibly honored to be chosen to lead this amazing organization," says Oresick. "As a native Pittsburgher, the Mattress Factory is a place that has always meant so much to me and was a huge part of forming my love for boundary-pushing contemporary art from an early age. In my career, my passion has always been working to help artists create new artwork and sharing that artwork in meaningful and engaging ways. I can’t think of a better place to continue this work than the Mattress Factory.”
Oresick will step into a leadership role shaped by Haldeman, who was eventually hired after longtime Mattress Factory executive director Michael Olijnyk was ousted following claims that he mishandled investigations into sexual misconduct allegations
against a male employee.
A press release says that, under Haldeman, the museum was able to eliminate a projected $375,000 budget deficit and strengthen "administrative and governance measures at the staff and Board level," as well as withstand the most difficult days of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In December 2021, the Mattress Factory completed a new strategic plan that would cover 2022–2024, and reinforce "the institution’s 45-year legacy of supporting artists, with a reenergized commitment to serving as a process-driven institution."
“We created and revamped certain positions, as well as sunset a few existing programs and roles, in order to deliver renewed, targeted focus on three core areas: artist programs, in-gallery engagement, and Northside relationships,” says Haldeman. “We recognized that needs have evolved during the pandemic and our multi-year organizational restructure, and we are very excited to continue offering a dynamic array of learner-centered educational and community programs."