SPACE: The Secret Life of Robots, opens February 21, 2014




 February 21 – April 27, 2014 | SPACE | 812 Liberty Avenue

 Exhibition Opening & Reception | February 21 | 5:30 – 8 p.m.

Pittsburgh, PA—The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust announces the opening of The Secret Life of Robots, a visual art installation by local artist Toby Atticus Fraley. The exhibition includes a dozen scenes of robots in domestic vignettes, presenting an unpolished look into the unseen, and often mundane, lives of robots. The exhibition is on view at the Trust’s SPACE  gallery in the Cultural District February 21–April 27, 2014. An opening reception is held Friday, February 21, 2014, from 5:30–8 p.m.

The 4- to 5-foot-tall robots are constructed from vintage thermoses, picnic coolers, and various found objects. Some robots include animatronics and custom built electronics packages that control illuminated elements, such as eyes and accent lights. Fraley offers a glimpse into the daily activities of a typical robot through various stages of its lifespan, revealing a glimpse of our lives through the looking glass.

“Everyday scenes from the lives of robots have been captured in this exhibition for us to observe,” says artist Toby Atticus Fraley. “Robots assembled from pieces of Americana illustrate mundane everyday rituals, acts of daring, and precious milestones. These scenes of great joy and crushing sadness cover the beginning to the end of a typical robot’s lifespan, celebrating and revering the beauty in the everyday.”

Some of these everyday scenes include a toddler taking its first steps under the watchful eyes of its parents, a robot at the grocery store trying to reach a can of cat food on a shelf that is just inches too high, and an elderly robot counting out its medication with the help of a magnifying glass.

Toby Atticus Fraley was born and raised in Washington, PA, and currently resides in Bridgeville, PA. Fraley uses found objects in his mixed media sculptures and clockworks. His works in clay, paint, and photography share a similar aesthetic, harkening to and preserving midcentury America. He exhibits locally and his work, including public art installations, is held in collections nationally and internationally. Most recently, Fraley composed as part of Highmark First Night Pittsburgh 2014 the Lonely Robot Returns window in the Renaissance Pittsburgh Hotel, which was a reprisal of Fraley’s Robot Repair launched in the Cultural District in 2011.

SPACE is located at 812 Liberty Avenue. Gallery Hours: Wed & Thurs: 11 a.m.–6 p.m.; Fri & Sat: 11 a.m.–8 p.m.; Sun. 11 a.m.–5 p.m. The gallery is free and open to the public. SPACE is a project of the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust. For more information about all gallery exhibitions featured in the Cultural District, please visit

About The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust
The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust has overseen one of Pittsburgh’s most historic transformations: turning a seedy red-light district into a magnet destination for arts lovers, residents, visitors, and business owners. Founded in 1984, the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust is a non-profit arts organization whose mission is the cultural and economic revitalization of a 14-block arts and entertainment/residential neighborhood called the Cultural District. The District is one of the country’s largest landmasses curated by a single nonprofit arts organization. A major catalytic force in the city, the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust is a unique model of how public-private partnerships can reinvent a city with authenticity, innovation and creativity. Using the arts as an economic catalyst, the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust has holistically created a world-renowned Cultural District that is revitalizing the city, improving the regional economy and enhancing Pittsburgh’s quality of life. Thanks to the support of foundations, corporations, government agencies and thousands of private citizens, the Cultural Trust stands as a national model of urban redevelopment through the arts.