Pittsburgh Artist Registry

Tom Sarver

Tom Sarver

Artistic Category artist
Career Level Professional
Experienced With Collaboration, Commissions, For-hire services, Leading workshops, Lectures, Performances, Public art, Teaching engagements, Speaking engagements

 I'm a Pittsburgh artist, curator and puppeteer exploring social, political and environmental issues through a variety of mediums.  Many of my interactive projects happen in non-traditional spaces including storefronts, sidewalks and green spaces. In 2019 I began a series of Pittsburgh neighborhood drawings. 

Combining humor, social commentary and a low-tech aesthetic, Tom Sarver explores relationships between the art world and the everyday.  His projects span a variety of disciplines including performance, installation, puppetry and events.  Sarver’s concepts are often realized in storefronts, houses, and public spaces.  These include building an evolving museum in a city row house (The Tom Museum at The Mattress Factory), opening a “bait & tackle” shop installation in Downtown Pittsburgh, and coordinating a series of Olympic-inspired performance events.  Sarver also practices traditional art making methods including drawing, painting and sculpture.  From 1999 through 2008, Sarver was a core organizer of The Black Sheep Puppet Festival, a national festival of activist and experimental puppetry. He holds a B.F.A. in Painting from Tyler School of Art, Temple University and an M.F.A. in Interdisciplinary Arts from SUNY Purchase College.  Sarver continues to perform and promote puppetry in Pittsburgh under a project called Puppet Happening.  A selection of his work (28 puppets from shows developed from 1997 through 2013) was featured in an installation at the 2013 Carnegie International at the Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh.


Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15212
412 657-7513


  • Puppet making
  • Public Art
  • Performance
  • Painting
  • Mixed-media
  • Installation
  • Illustration
  • Found object
  • Drawing
  • Sculpture
  • Social Practice / Civic Engagement


  • Abstract
  • Acrylic paint
  • Assemblage
  • Collage
  • Experimental
  • Mural
  • Oil Paint
  • Site specific
  • Acrylic
  • Expressionist
  • Figurative
  • Futurist
  • Landscape
  • Modern
  • Nature
  • Pen
  • Representational