John Pena is a  Pittsburgh based artist that came to talk to the Mattress Factory galleries group on Tuesday February 24. Pena has a new perspective on what art is. He has created projects and installations such as racing with clouds, creating a pirate radio station that plays extinct bird sounds, and sending a letter to the pacific ocean everyday for the last ten years.

letters to ocean
Pena’s word cloud installation in Pittsburgh

While here on Tuesday Pena talked to the galleries group about what its like to be an artist and how to overcome obstacles. Sophomore Trevor Gamble- Borsch said that “He really helped us to understand what we were doing with our project.” Pena said many inspirational things throughout his discussion to help the group not only with their gallery project (which will be a telephone booth that has phone chargers inside it) but with helping them to understand what life is like as an artist.

When a junior asked “Are you famous”, Pena humbly responded with a burst of intense laughter and said “Yeah hold on, let me take this call –  my phone is blowing up with calls.” Pena enjoys his creative art  style and told the group that even if they do not do a specific style or type of art they should never step down from a challenge.

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