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Sept. 26: Carnegie Mellon School of Art Purchases Travel Trailer To Host Short-Term Artist Residencies


Eric Sloss                            

Carnegie Mellon School of Art Purchases Travel Trailer
To Host Short-Term Artist Residencies

RV TrailerPITTSBURGH—Carnegie Mellon University's School of Art has acquired a 1950s travel trailer for students to use as a short-term residency to create art and interact with the community at large. Students are invited to "check out" the trailer - as they would a library book - to use as a setting for innovative art projects that interact with audiences in new ways. A previous incarnation was the "Suntrailer," adorned with full-spectrum light panels intended to brighten Pittsburgh's cloudy days by creating a communal urban "campfire."
Jon Rubin, assistant professor in the School of Art, spearheaded the trailer residency program. "I felt its mobility would entice the students into creating public projects that engaged very specific audiences," Rubin said.
Currently, Claire Hoch (A'08), Laura Miller (A'08) and art student Dawn Weleski have turned the trailer into a unique work of public art, a traveling gourmet diner called "RV Eatin'" that roams from reservation to reservation across the greater Pittsburgh area. Using locally grown food, RV Eatin' creates and fosters community interaction by providing a unique space to share stories and companionship over a hearty meal.
RV Eatin' uses funds garnered from each reservation to travel to the next. So far, the art project has visited places such as Mammoth Park, the Park Place Arts Center and the Strip District, serving delectable garden-grown dishes such as spicy lemon grass salad and peaches flambé. The trailer's journey is documented in a blog kept by the artists. One blog entry reflects on the importance of outreach projects that emerge from particular communities and nurture the art in local culture: "Art that lives and breathes, we are reminded, does not end with the artist's contribution ... our renovations to the trailer, as well as our idea of what it could become, are contingent upon the public that we wish to engage."  
For more information on the School of Art, RV Eatin' or the travel trailer residency, visit or contact Eric Sloss at 412-268-5765 or