Showcasing Our Region's Manufacturing Heritage


By Mary Richter

Robots. Concrete. Carbon molds. Ketchup bottles.

Not quite the typical fare when it comes to reviewing an art exhibition, is it?

Yet those were among the fascinating inspirations for Factory Direct: Pittsburgh, the latest exhibition presented by The Andy Warhol Museum. Factory Direct: Pittsburgh is actually a showcase of 14 contemporary artists from around the world. Each artist was paired with a Pittsburgh-based factory, then challenged to create original artworks inspired by what they experienced. The exhibition was created to celebrate Pittsburgh and its history as a leader in manufacturing and development.

On a glorious night in June, I had the great pleasure of attending the opening of Factory Direct: Pittsburgh, as these original creations were unveiled to the public. What I found most fascinating was not just the diversity of the artworks themselves, but the broad spectrum of companies involved in the exhibition.

From corporate giants of the industrial revolution to smaller start-up companies in the robotic age, the broad spectrum of our region’s history is well-represented in Factory Direct: Pittsburgh. Each company has its own story to tell, and it was great fun to see those stories interpreted by such talented artists. (It made me wonder how they would artistically interpret an accounting and business consulting company such as ours.)

As a leader in Schneider Downs’ Manufacturing Industry Group, I felt a certain pride as I reviewed the entire exhibition. Imagine, artists from around the world – from all different art disciplines – descending on Pittsburgh to be inspired by our industrial legacy. Schneider Downs is proud to be an underwriter of this exhibition, as we believe it is an important monument to our region.

Factory Direct: Pittsburgh is a fascinating trip through our region’s manufacturing history…and future. I encourage you to attend, and hope you’ll share your thoughts with me afterward.

To learn more about Factory Direct: Pittsburgh, visit the exhibition’s website

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