Aimée Beaubien: Twist Affix

October 29 – December 2, 2017
Curated by Claudine Isé, RAC Freeark Gallery Director

Artist’s Talk: Saturday, November 11, 3pm 
Opening Reception: Sunday, October 29, 3-6pm

Installation view of "Twist Affix," 2017, at RAC's Freeark Gallery.

Installation view of “Twist Affix,” 2017, at RAC’s Freeark Gallery.

The Riverside Art Center’s Freeark Gallery + Sculpture Garden is pleased to present a solo exhibition of new work by Aimée Beaubien.

“Leaning, shooting, bedded, staked, staying. Drooping, reclining, pitched, and placed. Sloping, jutting, braced. Holding, heaped. Planted and spread. My recent collage-based installations map networks of meaning and association between the garden, the ephemeral, and the photographic. Qualities of the garden run parallel to the nature of photography: they are spaces defined by interactions of the scientific, the accidental, and the temporal.

IMG_9035 copy

In my garden installations, cut forms interweave, encircle, and hang; trail in ribbon-like shreds; and become wild ornamental outgrowths. Hothouse grow lights create plays of intensely colored light and shadow; an oscillating household fan may keep these enmeshed forms actively swaying with life.

Installation view of "Twist Affix," 2017, in rear gallery.

Installation view of “Twist Affix,” 2017, in rear gallery.

My collage practice is driven by the translational space between image and material, and by generative and cumulative strategies of making. I embrace the documentary capacity of the camera, recording what I encounter. My images become printed photographs, then sculptural forms. Cutting and reassembling, I draw with scissors.

Photographic paper is my sculptural material. Through it, I explore physical and perceptual relationships. Within the visual and temporal entanglements of my installations, perception slips between recognition and abstraction: from a sky, a topography, or a textile, into fields of color and pattern and back again.

Detail of "Twist Affix," 2017.

Detail of “Twist Affix,” 2017.

Immaculately tended or grown wild; in public space or as private refuge, gardens are collections. They are the products of migration, accumulation, curation, and caprice. Culled from the orderliness of scientific taxonomies, we assemble our gardens for aesthetic pleasures, and for contact with wildness.

Our hours spent in leisure or in the attentive labor of cultivation are hours spent contemplating temporal bodies. In the botanical, we watch biological time, reproduction, death, and renewal. In the fragile and heavy shapes of blooms, we find the erotic. Heat, moisture, light, earthy fragrance, soft din of ambient sound: a bouquet of the sensory.

Detail of "Twist Affix," 2017.

Detail of “Twist Affix,” 2017.

In the store of family pictures I have inherited, it is evident that my great-grandmother photographed her garden throughout the seasons and her lifetime. Now I photograph in my tiny backyard garden, in my mother’s amazing garden in Florida, and in the botanical gardens near each of our homes. In these spaces, varied life cycles move at different speeds: interdependent systems bloom, grow, intertwine, and die. Gardens portray time.

My studio is on the first floor of my home, and the garden is out back. Wild, fast growing vines creep about the garage, slink through the yard and climb all around our house. I have noticed my domestic environment influences my work in unexpected ways. Last summer I began pulling out thickly entwining morning glories, plucking the heart shaped leaves and rolling them up into large tumbleweeds. In my studio, the hanging dried and drying plants mingle with huge tangles of cut and woven photographic pieces that dangle down from the ceiling.


I often allow everyday objects from my domestic space to become integrated into the structure of my sculptures and installations. Surrounded by suspended, propped, and perched objects, I consider perceptions of weight: the weight of things, the weight of images, the weight of representations, and the emotional ties interlaced throughout.


I am captivated by many different types of collections, from the significant objects curated and presented by museums to idiosyncratic displays in homes. My photographs are often made in institutional exhibits of art and artifacts, in quirky home museums, in urban plant conservatories, and in my domestic space.  As I work in the studio, I jot down fragmentary impressions of what I am making. Titles evolve from these sketches, encouraged by William S. Burroughs cut-up techniques. My titles are collages in text. These transformations – cutting up visual material, making associations, writing, then cutting and fashioning new written forms – mirrors the iterative, recombinatory process of my site-conscious installations.” — Aimée Beaubien

Andrew Falkowski: Flat Earth

Andrew Falkowski, "Read Between the Lines," 2017, Acrylic, Modeling Paste, 34” x 23”

Andrew Falkowski, “Read Between the Lines,” 2017, Acrylic, Modeling Paste, 34” x 23”

January 28 – March 3, 2018
Reception: Sunday, January 28, 3 ‐ 6pm
Artist’s Talk: Andrew Falkowski with Terry R. Myers, Saturday February 24th at 3pm
Curated by Anne Harris

Click here to listen to a recording of the conversation between Andrew Falkowski and Terry R. Myers on SoundCloud.

Click Link to download a PDF of the exhibition essay by Anne Harris: Andrew Falkowski Two Paintings and Fake Tape Essay

The RAC is pleased to present Andrew Falkowski’s solo exhibition Flat Earth.

Andrew Falkowski’s newest text paintings riff off pop-culture sources culled from junk mail, commercial packaging, magazines, art history and punk songs. In reproduction, this work reads as smart and wry — a sleek visual stylization of audio aggression. A sustained look at the actual paintings reveals a layered conversation. Meaning is found through the intersection of paint, image and language, combined with playfully loving swats at painted illusion.

This ranges from trompe l’oeil to replication. For example, duct tape: Falkowski seems to use it, but it’s really acrylic paint. He’s cast this from a mold and then applied it to the surface of his painting. The illusion is so convincing that we see none – the cast tape looks just like duct tape. Once we understand the wit behind the process, the experience of the painting flips. The look of jury-rigging becomes painstaking craft. First impressions dissolve into contradictions. Fiction is fact; fact is fiction. In the end, we have work that extends the inherent irony in painting: that surface meaning differs from deeper meaning.

Art doesn’t transform. It just plain forms. – Roy Lichtenstein

–Anne Harris

About the Artist

Andrew Falkowski is a Chicago-based painter. His work has been exhibited at venues ranging from Rosamund Felsen Gallery (Los Angeles), to Mixed Greens Gallery (NYC), to Chicago galleries such as Andrew Rafacz, Kavi Gupta and Julius Caesar, as well as The Suburban (both Oak Park and Milwaukee). Falkowski’s work has been discussed and reviewed in such publications as Time Out, Chicago Art Magazine, and His art criticism and essays have appeared in publications such as New Art Examiner, Cakewalk Magazine and Shifter Magazine. He is now currently a contributing writer to Chicago Artist Writers and New City Art Online. Falkowski is Assistant Professor in the Painting and Drawing Department at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, as well as Core Faculty in SAIC’s Low Residency MFA program.

Portage: Duncan Robert Anderson, George Blaha, and Dan Gamble

September 10 – October 21, 2017
Opening Reception Sunday September 10, 3-6pm

Panel Discussion with the Artists Held on Saturday, September 30th at 3pm, moderated by Troy Klyber

Exhibition Curated by Troy Klyber

Signed exhibition catalogues available with essays by Troy Klyber, Douglas Reichert Powell, and David Richards. Order signed catalogues at bottom of this post (shipping costs included).

Dan Gamble, Cascade, 2011/2016. Oil on canvas, 72" x 64".

Dan Gamble, Cascade, 2011/2016. Oil on canvas, 72″ x 64″.

Portage is the act of carrying from one navigable passage to another, or a route through which this activity occurs. As human beings we navigate our own individual streams. But we are also social beings, compelled to reach out, to find and connect with fellow travelers. Some make creative works to serve as signposts and markers, or maps, of their journey. Carrying these creations, they occasionally leave their streams to converge and compare notes, to share what they have learned along the way.
Three artists–Duncan Robert AndersonGeorge Blaha, and Dan Gamble–have made a portage, so to speak, to Riverside, which itself occupies an area near the historical Chicago Portage. They come from parallel streams, bearing work rendered from disparate media and materials — sculpture, digital images, painting, and drawing. Yet there is a natural affinity and kinship in their works, arising from shared interests in history, cosmology, mythology, physics, science fiction, and philosophy. It is through their individual searches for meaning, and their works, that the artists seek to connect with fellow travelers and cultivate a sense of wonder in the world, marking points along their exploration of this and other realms, real and imagined.
Duncan Robert Anderson, "valentine sevier in supplication to Nwt," 2017. Gouache and colored pencil, 30" x 26".

Duncan Robert Anderson, “valentine sevier in supplication to Nwt,” 2017. Gouache and colored pencil, 30″ x 26″.

George Blaha, "LM"

George Blaha, “LM”, 2014, inkjet print mounted on dibond.

Purchase the Portage exhibition catalogue:

Order Portage Exhibition Catalogue Portage catalogue @ $25.00

RAC Spotlight | Natalie Jacobson – Seeing Things: the difference between you and me

Guest Curated by Mark Booth
OPENING RECEPTION: Sunday, December 10, 3-6PM
Exhibition Dates: December 10, 2017 – January 13, 2018

Natalie Jacobson, Untitled, 2016, acrylic and spray paint on burlap and stretcher, 10" x 8".

Natalie Jacobson, Untitled, 2016, acrylic and spray paint on burlap and stretcher, 10″ x 8″.

Natalie Jacobson’s work explores the states between inside and outside by focusing on the ‘thingness’ of a painting. While hinting at pictorial space, she looks for ways to erode the hierarchy of supports, surface, and picture plane by using all components to create an image.

Untitled, 2017. Spray paint and ink on burlap and stretcher, 18"x16".

Untitled, 2017. Spray paint and ink on burlap and stretcher, 18″x16″.

Untitled, 2016. Spray paint on burlap and stretcher, 10"x 8".

Untitled, 2016. Spray paint on burlap and stretcher, 10″x 8″.

Untitled, 2016. Spray paint and thread on scrim and stretcher, 10" x 12".

Untitled, 2016. Spray paint and thread on scrim and stretcher, 10″ x 12″.

RAC Spotlight exhibitions are annual solo shows highlighting the work of artists in the RAC Community. Natalie Jacobson is RAC’s Arts Programming Manager and heads up our FlexSpace program. She has exhibited her work in group shows at the Hyde Park Art Center; the Rockford Art Museum; The Guest Room, Chicago; and Dogmatic Gallery, Chicago, among other venues. “Seeing Things: the difference between you and me” is her first solo exhibition.

Guest Curator Bio: Mark Booth is a Chicago-based interdisciplinary artist, sound artist, writer and musician. He is an assistant professor in the Writing and Sound departments at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and has exhibited his work widely both nationally and internationally. Most recently, he has had solo exhibitions at Devening Projects + Editions (2017); Sector 2337 (2016) and Adds Donna (2011) in Chicago.

RAC Sculpture Garden: Laura Miracle and Mark Parslow: Bouquet Garni and a Sandwich

The Riverside Arts Center’s Freeark Gallery and Sculpture Garden is pleased to announce our newest installation for the Sculpture Garden, on view through mid-September 2017.


In this collaboration, Mark Parslow and Laura Miracle explore the potential of reclaimed building materials for creating public spaces for exploration and contemplation. Named for its combination of herbs and edible plantings, ‘Bouquet Garni and a Sandwich’ is an invitation to reflect on the role of the senses in experiencing both time and place.

The materials used in ‘Bouquet Garni and a Sandwich’ have humble beginnings: a demolished home in Evanston; a torn-down bowling alley. These materials show their history through their patina: nail holes, layers of adhesive and wax, the stamp of the lumberyard.

The raised beds in ‘Bouquet Garni and a Sandwich’, with their various plantings of edibles and herbs, are meant to be an ongoing source of cuttings for Art Center visitors, adding taste to the senses that are engaged in this work. The plantings also serve as a screen that will guide views both in and out of the space, highlighting the potential of the bench to be both a place for restful seeing and an object of playful looking.




2017 RAC Members Exhibition (Freeark Gallery) + Kids Show (FlexSpace)

Exhibition Dates: July 1st – August 5, 2017

Artists’ Receptions are Saturday, July 15, 3-6pm

Our annual Members Exhibition and RAC Kids Show is a time to celebrate the creativity of the RAC community and our artist-members! We look forward to this exhibition every year, because it foregrounds the paintings, drawings, sculptures and photographs of our talented supporters.

Selected installation views from 2017 Annual Member’s Exhibition:

Anna Kunz: Physical Sunshine

May 21 – June 24, 2017

Reception: Sunday, May 21, 3 ‐ 6pm
Curated by Anne Harris

Anna Kunz, detail of work in progress: Physical Sunshine, latex
and acrylic on fabric, daylight, 5’3” x 4’ x 2’, 2017.

Download a PDF of the exhibition essay written by Anne Harris by clicking here: Anna Kunz–essay

The Riverside Arts Center is pleased to present Anna Kunz’s solo exhibition Physical Sunshine.

Anna Kunz’s paintings are flowing plains of fabric that transform rooms. She steeps porous open-grained cloth in paints or dyes, and also paints through fabric against the wall — allowing pigment to penetrate and mark the surface beneath. The paint on the wall becomes a piece but so does the material itself, which is then hung loose so that daylight passes through it. And the light itself is also a piece. That light is saturated with color, which leaks through space and splays across the floors and walls.

This interaction between material, pigment, light and air — the physical three-dimensional experience of translucency — is the body of Kunz’s work. We are the heart. The work comes alive as we move through it. These lushly seductive color-spaces only exist as art when they contain us. The meaning lies in the experience. As the work transforms from attractive to mesmerizing, we’re lured into hypnosis, a full body engagement, like music and dance.

Kunz’s work descends from non-figurative painters of the sublime such as Turner and Rothko, and also from color field painting, particularly Helen Frankenthaler. Today it sits between the juicy geometry of Mary Heilmann and Robert Irwin’s ethereal scrim pieces. Its 3-dimensionality has been woven around experimental dance, and she has worked collaboratively with choreographers and dancers, most notably the Merce Cunningham Dance Company in both New York and Chicago. Although her installations are body-less, they are completed by us — our moving physical selves.

All is a procession,
The universe is a procession with measured and perfect motion

Walt Whitman, I Sing the Body Electric

–Anne Harris

In the artist’s studio: a model of the RAC Freeark Gallery, as plans for the installation unfold.

About the Artist

Anna Kunz lives in Oak Park, IL, and teaches at Columbia College Chicago. She received her BFA at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1991, her MFA at Northwestern University in 2000, and attended the prestigious Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in 2009. Kunz has exhibited her paintings, prints, drawings, sculptures and installations at such venues as White BOX, NYC, Art Expo Projects Chicago, and the Smart Museum at University of Chicago. Her work can be found in such public collections as the Prudential Building in Chicago, the Philadelphia Art Museum, the Block Museum at Northwestern University, and St. Salvador’s College in Scotland. Honors and awards include residencies from the Edward Albee Foundation and the Marie Walsh Sharpe Art Foundation, as well as nominations for grants such as 3Arts, the Artadia Fund and the Louis Comfort Tiffany Award. In addition to her own work she has curated exhibitions such as the HATCH GALLERY PROJECTS for the Chicago Artists Coalition, and NATURE, Unframed, at the Morton Arboretum, Lisle, IL. She is currently Director of Tiger Strikes Asteroid (TSA) in Chicago, part of a national artist-driven coalition of alternative galleries. More information on the artist can be found on her website.

Currently, Kunz’s solo exhibition Heroes for Ghosts is on view through June 17 at Galleri Urbane in Dallas, TX. She also will be having a solo show in 2018 at the Hyde Park Art Center, Chicago, curated by Alison Peters Quinn. She is represented by McCormick Gallery, Chicago, IL, and Galleri Urbane Dallas/Marfa.

Anne Kunz, the Marie Walsh Sharpe Art Foundation, 2010

Anna Kunz: Heart of Glass, latex on fabric, C2C project space, San Francisco, CA, 2017

This exhibition is partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency; the Gaylord & Dorothy Donnelley Foundation; and sponsorship from the Riverside Township.

The Riverside Arts Center Freeark Gallery + Sculpture Garden
32 East Quincy Street, Riverside, IL 60546

Gallery Hours: Tue-Sat, 1-5pm. Closed Sundays, Mondays and major holidays.

All of our exhibitions are free and open to the public.

For additional information, visit
or contact Freeark Gallery Director Claudine Isé at cise[at]

Like us at:
Not a RAC member yet? Become a member today and support the creative vision of RAC!  Memberships are available online.

The Riverside Arts Center is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.
This program is funded in part by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency; the Gaylord & Dorothy Donnelley Foundation; and sponsorship from Riverside Township.

AP ART 2017 – Riverside Brookfield High School Annual Exhibition


Exhibition on View April 22 – May 13, 2017
Opening Reception: Friday April 28th, 6-8pm

*Please note that although our opening receptions typically take place on Sundays, we will hold the reception for “AP Art 2017” on Friday, April 28th from 6-8pm to accommodate the schedules of students and families


“White,” by Stephanie Molina-Bajana

The Riverside Arts Center’s Freeark Gallery + Sculpture Garden and Riverside Brookfield High School are excited to announce our 8th annual presentation of exceptional artworks made by students enrolled in RBHS’s AP Art class. This group exhibition includes paintings, sculptures, drawings and photographs by students in their sophomore, junior and senior years.

Schejbal_Dirt Track

“Dirt Track,” by Bailey Schejbal


“Glovebox,” by Adam Nie

This year, the “AP Art” exhibition has expanded to include over 45 artworks and will occupy both the Freeark Gallery AND our FlexSpace next door! The exhibition is on view for three weeks, from April 22nd through May 13th. Come share the creativity of our community’s young artists by joining us for a celebratory reception on the evening of Friday April 28th from 6-8pm! Light snacks and refreshments will be served.

This exhibition is partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency; the Gaylord & Dorothy Donnelley Foundation; and sponsorship from the Riverside Township.

The Riverside Arts Center Freeark Gallery + Sculpture Garden
32 East Quincy Street, Riverside, IL 60546

GALLERY HOURS: Tuesdays – Saturdays 1-5pm. Closed Sundays, Mondays and major holidays.

All of our exhibitions are free and open to the public.

For additional information, visit
or contact Freeark Gallery Director Claudine Ise: cise[at]

The Riverside Arts Center is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.
This program is funded in part by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency; the Gaylord & Dorothy Donnelley Foundation; and sponsorship from Riverside Township.

Brent Fogt and Stacia Yeapanis: Resist the Urge to Press Forward

March 5 – April 15, 2017
Opening Reception: Sunday, March 5, 3 – 6pm
Closing Reception, Artist’s Talk and Sculpture Garden Installation Unveiling: Saturday, April 15, 3-6pm

Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux, Design for Riverside, Illinois

“As the ordinary directness of line in town-streets, with its resultant regularity of plan, would suggest eagerness to press forward, without looking to the right hand or the left, we should recommend the general adoption in the design of your roads, of gracefully curved lines, generous spaces, and the absence of sharp corners, the idea being to suggest and imply leisure, contemplativeness and happy tranquility.”

–Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux, Preliminary Report on a Proposed Design for Riverside, Illinois

The precise balance of Brent Fogt’s assemblage sculptures and the repeated tangles and scribbles in Stacia Yeapanis’ floor-based installation echo the ideas foregrounded in Calvert Vaux and Frederick Law Olmstead’s curvilinear landscape design for Riverside, Illinois—a design that invites locals and visitors alike to slow down and contemplate their surroundings. Fogt creates objects that interact precariously with the wall and ceiling, while Yeapanis explores groundedness by arranging tangled thickets of material that blanket the floor. For both artists, making art is a way to escape the clock and pursue an alternate system of time, where discrete, repeated actions in the present take precedence over the looming expanse of the future. Each uses discarded, undervalued materials and meditative processes to encourage viewers to become more aware of their bodies and of the present moment. Rather than pressing forward, they ask us to be still for a while and attend to what’s right in front of us.

Yeapanis’ materially dense installations self-consciously echo the anxiety of “constant doing” that defines contemporary life, while simultaneously offering us an antidote to this pervasive busyness. They are improvised arrangements of thousands of distinct parts—byproducts of non-goal-oriented, repetitive gestures—that will be reconfigured in future installations. For this exhibition, Yeapanis has reduced her material choices and palette to colors found in three, regularly discarded types of material: tan-colored cardboard boxes and shipping tubes, multi-colored plastic dog waste bags, and the ivory tones of raw hand-spun wool. Her work’s ephemerality is pivotal to its content, which speaks to the presence of impermanence in everyday life and the possibility of responding to it with a sense of wonder and play rather than unease.

Fogt’s research and artwork focus on how small, discrete actions—additions, subtractions, divisions—accumulate over time. He creates slender, off-kilter sculptures by assembling fallen tree branches, discarded furniture, worn-out clothing, and other cast-off materials he has rescued from the streets and dumpsters of his Chicago neighborhood. Fogt sutures the branches and prefabricated furniture by screwing, wrapping, or crocheting them together with cotton yarn or jute. The resulting sculptures may hang from ceilings, lean against walls, or rest precariously on floors. By placing humble, weathered materials into predefined architectural spaces, his artwork points to daily activities like standing, sitting and walking that require us to physically balance ourselves and our surroundings.

Alongside sculpture and installation, both Fogt and Yeapanis will present two-dimensional works. Fogt’s collaged images from a 1960 Sears catalog hover in fields of empty space, the pieces appearing to float on the page, while the swirling cacophony of Yeapanis’s colorful ink drawings echo the unpredictably organic forms of her 3-dimensional installations. The artists will also collaborate on an installation for the outdoor sculpture garden, which combines materials Fogt collects while taking long walks along Riverside’s winding streets and parks with “tangles” cut by Yeapanis from packing boxes collected from her neighbor’s recycling bins.

About the Artists:

The son of a Lutheran pastor and a psychotherapist, Brent Fogt was born in Ohio and raised in Texas. Fogt’s sculpture, collage and drawings have been featured in solo exhibitions at Austin College, Emory University, Indiana University and the Lawndale Art Center, and in publications such as New American Paintings, Art in America and He has completed artist residencies at the Vermont Studio Center, Djerassi Resident Artists Program, I-Park Foundation and Yaddo. He holds a Master of Fine Arts from the University of Michigan and a Master of Science in Foreign Service from Georgetown University. Fogt lives and works in Chicago.

Stacia Yeapanis is a Chicago-based, interdisciplinary artist, educator and writer, and is an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Fiber and Material Studies at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where she received her MFA in 2006. Yeapanis conducts weekly interviews with artists for the OtherPeoplesPixels blog. She was a 2011-2012 Artist-in-Residence and a 2012-2013 Mentor-in-Residence at Chicago Artists’ Coalition’s BOLT Residency. Her site-responsive installations have been featured in solo exhibitions at Siena Heights University, Heaven Gallery and Lillstreet Art Center and in two-person shows at Dominican University and Design Cloud. In August 2017, Yeapanis will have a solo exhibition of her work titled Sacred Secular at Indianapolis Arts Center.

This exhibition is partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency; the Gaylord & Dorothy Donnelley Foundation; and sponsorship from the Riverside Township.

The Riverside Arts Center Freeark Gallery + Sculpture Garden
32 East Quincy Street, Riverside, IL 60546

PLEASE NOTE OUR NEW WINTER GALLERY HOURS:  Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, & Saturday 1 – 5pm, Friday 1-4pm. Closed Sundays, Mondays and major holidays.

All of our exhibitions are free and open to the public.

For additional information and high-res press images contact Freeark Gallery Director Claudine Ise at cise[at]

A Certain Slant of Light

January 15 – February 25, 2017
Opening Reception: Sunday, January 15, 3 – 6pm

Guest Curated by Bill Conger and Shona Macdonald

“There’s a certain slant of light On winter afternoons,
That oppresses like the weight Of cathedral tunes”
– Emily Dickinson

The work of this group of artists hopes to encapsulate the lyricism, fragility, and foreboding inherent in Dickinson’s poem. Memory too, captured in Dickinson’s vivid imagery, is present in much of this work: particularly the way memories unearth and dislodge, becoming different with age. Also, stillness and boredom where the imagination runs free, on days such as dreary, rain-soaked Sunday afternoons, as evoked in Dickinson’s poem.

The poem’s undercurrent of affliction illuminates something within the narrator herself. A supernatural heft within the four slight passages swells as the arbitrary and enigmatic slant of light transforms into a malevolent force of nature. The artists represented here amplify common visages and familiar objects while expounding on the implications. These artists similarly excavate content from the slightest stimuli either pictorially or through gesture. Their works yield psychically charged moments, which reference Dickinson’s unequalled ability to exact underlying drama from arrested observation. — Shona Macdonald, Guest Curator

Artists in the Exhibition: Bill Conger, Natalie Jacobson, Shona Macdonald, Melissa Randall, Dawn Roe, Pete Schulte, Buzz Spector, and Dustin Young.

Good Machines

December 4, 2016 – January 7, 2017
Reception: Sunday, December 4, 3 – 6pm

Curated by Natalie Jacobson

Watch videos of the technology-driven artworks in “Good Machines”:

How can we use technology to better connect to others and create new experiences for ourselves? This group exhibition explores this question through works that exploit machine and technology and use interactivity as a form of performance, while looking at the role that potentiality and destruction play within those experiences. Artists whose work often uses technology as a medium are invited to create machines that will generate a gesture, a kind of “drawing” in the form of a mark, sound, light, object, or movement. Due to direct or indirect public interaction with the machines, and within the confines of the gallery space, these drawings will change over time, and possibly be destroyed in the process. Come join in!

“Good Machines” draws inspiration from Experiments in Art and Technology (E.A.T.), an organization started in the 1960s by Robert Rauschenberg, Robert Whitman, Billy Klüver and Fred Waldhauer that brought artists, engineers, and cutting-edge technology together with the goal of reshaping human relationships to machines, information, and community. Artists who worked with E.A.T. include Fujiko Nakaya, Andy Warhol, John Cage, Yvonne Rainer, Forrest Myers, Öyvind Fahlström, Lucinda Childs, Alex Hay, Frank Stella, Michel Auder, John Chamberlan, Nancy Graves, Ralph Hocking, Joan Jonas, Les Levine, Michael Netter, Brigid Polk, Larry Rivers, Lucas Samaras, Richard Serra, Tony Shafrazi, Michael Snow, Keith Sonnier and many, many others. Their goals were generous in that they wanted to reach people traditionally outside of the art world, as well as take art outside of the gallery context and insert it into the everyday in ways that opened up new conversations.

Niki Passath performance at Longli Media Arts Festival, China, October 2016. Photo credit: Franz Shuber.

Niki Passath performance at Longli Media Arts Festival, China, October 2016. Photo credit: Franz Shuber.

For more information on E.A.T. and its history, see: Experiments in Art and Technology: A Brief History of Experiments and Projects, by Woody Vasulka.

Artists in the exhibition are Taylor Hokanson in collaboration with J. Stephen Lee, Richard Holland, Eric Lunde, Niki Passath, Jesse Seay, and Philip von Zweck. The exhibition runs from December 4, 2016 – January 7, 2017.

About the artists:

Taylor Hokanson is an artist, educator and open source hardware advocate. His practice revolves around the creative opportunities formed by online communities and computer-aided fabrication tools. This research informs carefully engineered objects that question the myth of singular authorship, our expectations of post-digital functionality, and the absurdity of human-human and human-computer interaction.  Hokanson’s work has been shown in Austria, Canada, Estonia, India, Italy and throughout the United States. In keeping with the nature of his research, online venues form an equally important distribution medium. See the following websites for more information:;;;

Richard Holland is a 2003 JD/MA/MFA graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He had his first gallery show while still in high school, in 1989, and never really came to his senses. Along with Duncan MacKenzie, he founded the art blog and podcast Bad at Sports in 2005. He received grants from the Illinois Arts Council in 2004 and 2009. He has lectured and led numerous panel discussions on art, business and legal issues faced by artists, and comics at a varied string of venues including apexart, threewalls, the National Museum Publishing Seminar, the Art Institute of Chicago, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and College Art Association. He has been a visiting artist at Bradley University, Washington State University, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In his spare time he is an attorney in private practice, a realtor, and father to two future ninjas.

J. Stephen Lee is a graphic designer and educator currently located in Portland, Oregon. He has experience in art direction, motion graphics, and UI/UX. He received an AB in Studio Art/Psychology at Dartmouth College and an MFA in Graphic Design/Integrated Media at CalArts.

Eric Lunde is not an artist that specializes in any one talent, media, or genre. My work has ranged from performance and performance art, experimental audio to 2D drawing and wall sculpture/installation. I have numerous audio releases in various formats released through audio concerns here in the US and throughout the world.
Niki Passath studied Violoncello and Architecture in Graz, Austria and made his diploma in Media Art and Digital Art at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna, Austria.The longterm involvement with classical music instruments lead to his interest in automatons, machines and robots.  On the one hand he develops robots which draw their experiences as traces on different surfaces, on the other hand he is using the 3D-printing technology to transfer digital content back from the virtual to the reality. Passath lives and works in Vienna.

Jesse Seay is an artist and associate professor in the Department of Audio Arts & Acoustics at Columbia College Chicago. She holds an MFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and an MA from UNC-Chapel Hill. Her sound-producing kinetic sculpture has shown at the Hyde Park Art Center, the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, the Chicago Children’s Museum, and is on permanent display at the University of Chicago. Find her online at

Philip von Zweck‘s conceptually driven works ranges from radio broadcasts and participatory public projects to solely authored paintings. He was a founding member of the radio art collective Blind Spot (2005-2008) and producer of the weekly sound art radio program Something Else (1995-2010) on WLUW, Chicago, director of the living room art gallery VONZWECK (2005-2008) and his office gallery D Gallery (2011-present). Solo projects have been presented at The Knockdown Center, NYC; INVISIBLE-EXPORTS, NYC; 65GRAND, Chicago; Performa 11, New York; NADA Hudson/INVISIBLE-EXPORTS; The Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago; Gallery 400, Chicago; three-walls, Chicago. He is the founder of the Chicago Artificial Birding Society and President and CEO of Thornberry, producer of the world’s finest doorstops. He is represented by 65GRAND.

This program is partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency, and sponsorship from the Riverside Township.

The Riverside Arts Center Freeark Gallery + Sculpture Garden
32 East Quincy Street, Riverside, IL 60546
PLEASE NOTE OUR NEW WINTER GALLERY HOURS:  Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, & Saturday 1 – 5pm; Friday 1-4pm. Closed Sundays, Mondays and major holidays.

This exhibition is free and open to the public.
For additional information, visit
or contact Freeark Gallery Director Claudine Ise at claudineise.rac[at]

Judith Brotman and Fraser Taylor: Missed (and Other) Connections

October 23 – November 26, 2016
Reception: Sunday, October 23, 3 – 6pm

Curated by Karen Azarnia

Read a review of this exhibition in New City here.

The Riverside Arts Center is pleased to present Missed (and other) Connections, a two-person exhibition featuring work by Judith Brotman and Fraser Taylor. Brotman and Taylor reference form and the human body through the immediacy of mark – be it drawn, stitched, collaged, or sculpted. Having shared an artistic dialogue for many years as both friends and colleagues, both artists delve into the complex territory of relationships and connections between people. Navigating the often contradictory notions of identity, self-perception, longing and desire, Brotman and Taylor convey urgency and vulnerability, embodied through formal material choices and a sense of touch. More Information

Order Judith Brotman and Fraser Taylor, "Missed (and Other) Connections" Catalogue Judith Brotman Fraser Taylor Catalogue @ $22.00

Luis Sahagun: An Old God Renewed

Opens October 23, 2016 in the RAC Sculpture Garden
Opening Reception: Sunday, October 23 from 3-6pm

“In the beginning there was only darkness.
The atmosphere had no taste.
Anonymous ancestors magically appeared,
Alvaro’s History was erased.

Angels came to hear him sing,
For it was the rise of a new king.”
-Creation Story

Luis Sahagun An Old God Renewed, 2016 wood, drywall, cement, screws, spray paint, acrylic, oil, resin, & metal Courtesy the artist

Luis Sahagun
An Old God Renewed, 2016
wood, drywall, cement, screws, spray paint, acrylic, oil, resin, & metal
Courtesy the artist

Luis Sahagun creates paintings, sculptures and objects that serve as icons of an invented personal mythology. He is interested in the overlap of memory, imagination, and his own ancestral legacy and art, and describes himself as as “a quixotic artist who channels the working ethics of a construction worker on a romantic quest to use art to empower working class sensibilities.”

Sahagun’s practice is deeply informed by his experience as a laborer, construction worker and product designer. Instead of the painter’s traditional brush, palette knife and canvas, Sahagun employs saws, knives, and engineered wood particle board as his primary tools and media. These modes of production have led Sahagun to develop an idiosyncratic personal vernacular that remains proudly embedded within the everyday realities of his blue-collar upbringing. He describes his outdoor sculpture An Old God Renewed as “an anthropomorphic panther that serves as a portal for human souls to exit our realm and enter the mythology that I have constructed.” Within the Panther’s eye is a depiction of the moon, which provides the symbolic source of energy for the portal’s ability to function.

Importantly for Sahagun, the moon also represents a world where “the fallen…friends and family members that have been murdered due to the violence found within my own Chicago Southland community” now reside. The sculpture is Sahagun’s offering to this familiar yet strange, distant yet ever-present “old god,” the moon. Through symbol, metaphor, and mythic storytelling, Sahagun’s works construct a viscerally powerful alternative vision of Chicago community history, through which we may ponder the minute alongside the infinite, the mundane in concert with the divine.

Luis Sahagun An Old God Revisited, 2016 (detail)

Luis Sahagun
An Old God Renewed, 2016

This exhibition is free and open to the public.
Gallery hours: Tuesday – Saturday, 1 ‐ 5pm.

This program is partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency, and sponsorship from the Riverside Township.

Riva Lehrer: Exquisite Radical

September 4 – October 15, 2016
Opening Reception: Sunday, September 4, 3 ‐ 6pm

Closing Reception & Artist Talk with Riva Lehrer and Anne Harris Saturday October 15, 2-5pm
Reading and Artist Talk begins at 3pm

Exhibition curated by Anne Harris
Full-color exhibition catalogue with an essay by Anne Harris available for purchase

The RAC is pleased to present Riva Lehrer’s solo exhibition Exquisite Radical. Riva Lehrer’s figurative paintings and drawings challenge conventional notions of beauty. She exquisitely depicts bodies we are told not to look at, certainly not to stare at—not to see. She does this through portraiture, which traditionally focuses on unique individuals deemed worthy of being “the stars of their own lives.” (1) More Information

Order Riva Lehrer Catalogue

Annual Members Exhibition 2016

Selected works from the 2016 RAC Members Exhibition:

June 26-July 23, 2016
Reception: Sunday, June 26, 3-6pm

Once a year, the Riverside Arts Center showcases the work of our students and members in our Freeark Gallery and FlexSpace. We look forward to this event every summer as an opportunity to highlight the creations of our talented supporters. We hope you’ll join us for the opening celebration on Sunday, June 26, from 3-6pm.