Sep 10th 2023

Outside the Box: Modern and Contemporary Houses in Riverside

@ FlexSpace: Riverside Arts Center

32 E Quincy St, Riverside, IL 60546

Opening Sunday, September 10th, from 3PM - 6PM

On view through Saturday, October 21st

Outside the Box: Modern and Contemporary Houses in Riverside | September 10 – October 21, 2023

The Riverside Arts Center presents Outside the Box: Modern and Contemporary Houses in Riverside. This FlexSpace exhibition is guest co-curated by Kim Freeark (Riverside homeowner) and Michelangelo Sabatino (Riverside homeowner, architectural historian and preservationist). Through their extensive research and with the participation of Riverside residents, they have enlisted the talents of photographer Will Quam to document modern and contemporary houses in Riverside built from the 1930s to the present. The exhibition highlights histories of the houses and their owners, along with personal stories from the residents. Included in the exhibition are a set of 3-D printed models of a selection of the houses created by architect Andrew Obendorf (Riverside homeowner). A walking tour led by 3rd generation Riversider Bianca Buckzo will be offered featuring some of the homes, and the catalogue designed by Board member Dan Streeting contains the photographs and stories of these homes and their owners.

Exhibition Dates: September 10 – October 21, 2023

Opening Reception: Sunday, September 10, 2023, 3:00 – 6:00 pm

Join us afterwards for a private happy hour across the street at the Quincy Street Distillery.

Gallery Hours: Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays 1:00 – 5:00 pm

Walking Tour: Saturday, September 23, 2023, 1:00 – 3:00 pm Meet at the Riverside Train Station. Led by Bianca Buczko

Publication: Outside the Box: Modern and Contemporary Houses in Riverside will be aailable for purchase at the opening reception and afterwards.

Panel Discussion: Living in a Modern or Contemporary House in Riverside

Wednesday, October 18, 2023. 7:00 – 9:00 pm at the Riverside Public Library.

An informal conversation highlighting contemporary and modern houses in Riverside with co-curators Kim Freeark and Michelangelo Sabatino, photographer Will Quam, Riverside Homeowners and others participating in “Outside The Box”, a photography exhibition at the Riverside Arts Center’s FlexSpace September 10th – October 21, 2023. In collaboration with the Frederick Law Olmsted Society of Riverside (FLOS).

Guest Co-Curated by Kim Freeark and Michelangelo Sabatino with Photographs by Will Quam

Our Riverside is known for many things: Olmsted’s General Plan, a beautiful Water Tower, stately Victorians, Frank Lloyd Wright’s Tomek House, Coonley Estate, and Playhouse. But what about so many other houses: the contemporary ones, the modern and mid-century ones, the quirky ones, the interesting renovations and re-purposing? The houses whose owners and designers decided to do something different, something ‘outside the box’?

– Kim Freeark

Steel House

Kim Freeark is a retired IT consultant. She moved to Riverside in 2016, when she purchased her parent’s home. Kim enjoys gardening, reading, and opining about architecture. She currently serves as Treasurer of two non-profit organizations: the Frederick Law Olmsted Society of Riverside (FLOS) and the Yucatan Environmental Foundation (YEF).

Michelangelo Sabatino is a publicly engaged architectural historian, curator, and preservationist. He is Professor at IIT’s College of Architecture where he directs the PhD program and is the inaugural John Vinci Distinguished Research Fellow. He serves on the Board of Directors of Docomomo US. Sabatino and his partner Serge Ambrose recently restored their late 1930s modern home in Riverside. Their forthcoming book is entitled Modern, Again. The Benda House & Garden in Chicagoland (2024)

Will Quam is an architecture photographer, architecture writer, and researcher and the heart behind Brick of Chicago. He loves bricks. He leads tours about bricks and architecture! You can learn more here. You can check out some of his media appearances, here.
Project team

Andrew Obendorf is an architect and urbanist who has lived in Riverside with his family since 2021. His work has spanned large-scale mixed-use, cultural, residential, retail, healthcare and government buildings throughout the world. His recent local work includes 800 West Fulton in Fulton Market and the urban plan for the 78, a new mixed-use neighborhood in the South Loop. Oberndorf’s approach is rooted in interdisciplinary design and collaboration, with a focus on place, history and climate. His work includes some of the highest performing and sustainable projects in their respective context, and have received a wide array of awards and publication.

Dan Streeting is the founder of Streeting Design, a graphic design studio that focuses on print publications, editorial illustration, and research projects. Dan is also the Art Director of Chicago’s Newcity magazine and a member of the Riverside Arts Center’s board of directors. In previous careers, Dan ran a storefront gallery in Berwyn with his wife Jessica, taught experimental typography and publication design, and played in a synth band in early-2000s Michigan. He holds an MFA in 2D Design from Cranbrook Academy of Art and a BFA from Northern Michigan University.

Bianca Buckzo grew up in Riverside, IL, where she was instilled with a deep respect for architecture and its presence in the environment. Her passion for architecture has led to her volunteer work as an interpreter at the Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio in Oak Park, educating people from all over the world about the founder of the Prairie School of Architecture. She is a member of the Frederick Law Olmsted Society of Riverside (FLOS) and leads walking tours of Riverside. Buczko is a student at Illinois Institute of Technology studying in the School of Architecture.

Geoffrey Baer is a Chicago-based television personality, actor writer and producer, based at WTTW, Chicago’s PBS television station. His PBS program 10 Towns that Changed America (2016) and WTTW program Chicago’s Western Suburbs: From Prairie Soil to Prairie Style (2008) demonstrate his ongoing interest in what lies beyond Chicago’s famous skyline.

Liz Chilsen is an artist and Executive Director of the Riverside Arts Center (RAC). Her photographic study “Lessons of Place”, is part of a long-term study of place dynamics, immigration, and family, centered in rural and small town places. It is funded in part by Illinois Humanities and the Illinois Arts Council. Major commissions include “Landmarks Illinois, 25 years of Endangered Places in Illinois”, and “Loeb Fellows Park Place Charette” in Birmingham. Chilsen holds an MFA in Photography from Columbia College and a Bachelor of Science in Art from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

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