The Space I’m in Project


The Mattress Factory is a contemporary art museum featuring room-sized installations that you can walk in to. The installations are new works created by resident artists. The Mattress Factory’s Mission statement asserts that we “aggressively educate and encourage viewers – regardless of prior experience – to examine the relevance of art and creativity in their own lives.” In the Mattress Factory Education Department we wanted to think beyond the museum walls and how we could inspire the same sorts of conversations we have around space, memory, sound, light, time and other big ideas in places other than our installations. We asked artists to create interactive objects that would create connections between our memories, sensory understanding and physical spaces while engaging a wide variety of disciplines. This project became The Space I’m In.

The Space I’m In is a series of interactive objects and learning tools that relate human experience to the world around us—much in the same way the visitor interacts with site-specific installations artworks at the Mattress Factory. This project engages many different disciplines such as math, science, language and the arts.

Five teams of two teachers (one of the teachers must be an art teacher) will be selected to participate in the program during the 2013-2014 academic year. Applications will be accepted from schools (K-12) in Brooke, Hancock, Marshall, Ohio and Wetzel counties.

The GOALS of The Space I’m In (TSII) project are to:

  • Give students and teachers an in-depth experience with their environment, while creating a foundational understanding of installation art (especially students who have not visited the Mattress Factory).
  • Collaborate with educators to create quality, accessible and real-world curriculum and lessons inspired by ideas from the TSII.
  • Encourage teachers to collaborate in creating lessons and think of inter-disciplinary opportunities for their students.
  • Make the Mattress Factory and the big ideas associated with installation art accessible for teachers and students.
  • Give students and teachers vocabulary in order to discuss art and difficult topics.
  • Invite students and teachers to spend time at the Mattress Factory.
  • Give students and teachers consistent support from the Mattress Factory as they brainstorm and execute their plans and lessons.

If you are chosen to participate in this program, you will receive:

  • The opportunity to use the tools from The Space I’m In, in your classroom and school.
  • Access to a support system of other teachers, artists, Museum Education professionals at the Mattress Factory and faculty at West Liberty University, through intimate professional development workshops, on-line “office hours,” in-class support and an online forum for discussion and feedback.
  • Free visits (including transportation) for your students to visit the Mattress Factory.
  • Reimbursement for substitute teachers when there are day long Professional Development workshops.
  • Opportunities to share your work through the Mattress Factory and other professional organizations.
  • Three graduate credits through the College of Education at West Liberty University.

If you are chosen to participate in this program, you are agreeing to:

  • Make a one-year commitment to partner with the Mattress Factory and West Liberty University on The Space I’m In.
  • Bring your students to a field trip at the Mattress Factory (this opportunity is funded by the Mattress Factory).
  • Create a series of lesson plans / curriculum inspired by The Space I’m In and test these lessons with your students.
  • Share your lesson plans / curriculum, documentation and photographs with the Mattress Factory for further expanding and promoting this project (your work will always be credited).
  • Participate in five Professional Development Workshops throughout the year (a two-day workshop on July 30 and 31, a dinner meeting on September 26 and full day workshops in November, March and June).
  • Provide feedback and information regarding this opportunity for reporting and grant purposes as well as to improve this programming in the future.
  • Conduct a pre and post-assessment with students to document the program.

The Space I’m In Project Application

Completed applications should be submitted by May 24, 2013 to:

Lou Karas
Director, Center for Arts & Education
West Liberty University
208 University Drive
College Union Box 148
West Liberty, WV 26074
[email protected]

Please contact Ms. Karas at 304/336-8162 if you have any questions or need additional information about The Space I’m In Project.