What we do

Since its inception, the STUDIO has provided residencies for, and raised more than $6 million in support of, more than 120 artists engaged in hybrid research projects. Some of our current artist-led projects include: the Center for PostNatural History, the world’s only museum of human-engineered life forms; High Point Pittsburgh Investigation, a feasibility study for a public observatory park atop the USX Steel Tower; and the Moon Arts Project, a partnership with the CMU Robotics Institute to develop artworks that accompany its 2015 lunar rover mission. Fellows at the STUDIO are selected from CMU faculty and staff, or from outside Carnegie Mellon by invitation.

Outreach and presentation are vital to our mission, and the STUDIO is firmly committed to insuring that a public of all ages and backgrounds can see, access, understand and (especially) learn key skills in new-media arts and design. Thus, in addition to our residencies, the STUDIO also conducts free and low-cost public educational activities (such as lectures, conferences, workshops, performances, and exhibitions) that address timely concerns in emerging media. These not only serve our immediate university audience, but the larger Pittsburgh region and (through our Internet presence and online archives) international audiences, as well. To ensure physical and programmatic access to all our events and programs, we partner with Carnegie Mellon’s Office of Disability Resources.

The STUDIO administers the Frank-Ratchye Fund for Art at the Frontier — an endowment to encourage the creation of innovative artworks by the faculty, staff and students of Carnegie Mellon. With this fund, the STUDIO seeks to develop a cache of groundbreaking projects created at CMU — works that can be described as “thinking at the edges” of the intersection of disciplines. The Frank-Ratchye fund supports at least five projects per year, which are selected by a committee twice annually. Any faculty, student or staffperson actively affiliated with Carnegie Mellon University is eligible to apply, regardless of their home department.

The STUDIO:

  • Provides artist residencies with stipends, commissions and facilities. All STUDIO projects are artist-generated. Fellows are selected by invitation (and, in select circumstances when RFQs or RFPs are announced, by application), using criteria based on furthering the STUDIO’s mission.
  • Maintains a diverse work environment populated by a broad range of practitioners, including resident Fellows, Carnegie Mellon faculty and students, and other associates.
  • Facilitates access to human and technical resources at Carnegie Mellon and throughout the Pittsburgh region.
  • Develops public venues for the presentation of innovative work.
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