Studio lab

This is the place to go deep on an artistic technique, topic or artist and have one-of-a-kind creative experiences with teaching staff and local and visiting artists. An ever-changing display of contemporary, interactive artwork will inspire new ideas and perspectives, and help you discover new talents.

We’ve also partnered with Carnegie-Mellon University’s Masters of Arts Management program and their experiential learning initiatives, where artists and audiences can explore the limits of the creative expression, presentation and interpretation of various art forms.

Nek Chand: A Hidden World

The first exhibit in STUDIO LAB features the Museum’s collection of more than 45 sculptures by the artist Nek Chand. 

Nek Chand was an untutored artist from India who created thousands of large mosaic sculptures using found materials such as rocks, broken crockery and colored stones. The sculptures depict human figures, monkeys, peacocks, elephants, bears and many imaginary creatures.

Over time he created The Rock Garden of Chandigarh, the world's largest folk-art environment, as a home for his sculptures. Set on more than 25 acres, this miniature world depicts Indian village life as well as a fantasy kingdom.

Following Nek Chand’s process, you can help make sculptures and mosaic murals from found materials using techniques like mosaic tiling, layering and assemblage. Work alongside visiting artists who are inspired by Chand’s story and artwork.

Guest visual artists, performing artists and cultural experts will join us in STUDIO LAB to further explore Chand’s art making process and Indian culture.

As many of the sculptures were originally located outside in the elements, you can also see curators demonstrate conservation techniques to repair them.

Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh received the Nek Chand sculptures as a gift from the Capitol Children’s Museum in Washington, D.C. They were part of CCM’s outdoor garden, which was created by Nek Chand, and were de-installed in 2004.