2009: Olmsted Spirit Award

The Olmsted Spirit Award recognizes groups and individuals whose achievements build upon and strengthen a sense of community, the spirit of Olmsted’s vision, and whose actions are exemplary in their leadership and commitment to Riverside.

Instead of awarding the traditional architecture award this year, the Olmsted Society decided to recognize the 4 key groups responsible for the inspiring outcome of the This Place Matters, Riverside & its Landmark Arcade Building community project with the Olmsted Spirit Award.

The first Olmsted Spirit Award goes to the students, teachers, and administration of the Riverside Brookfield High School Fine Arts Department. The students in particular went above and beyond in their efforts as they worked, for 5 intense weeks, on the murals during school days, on nights, and throughout weekends. Accepting the award on behalf of all involved at the High School was Jonathan Grice, Chair of the Fine Arts Department. Jon’s willingness and enthusiasm to adjust the entire first term art curriculum on short notice to enable the art components of this project was amazing.

The second Olmsted Spirit Award goes to the many members of the Riverside Arts Center, including Arts Center Founder Ruth Freeark and Mural Committee Members Nancy Hejna, Gail Sellers, and Jennifer Taylor. The Arts Center Team spent countless volunteer hours at the High School and on site, and lent tremendous expertise and guidance to the students in their roles as “artists in residence”. Accepting the award on behalf of the Riverside Arts Center were Ruth Freeark and Jennifer Taylor.

The third Olmsted Spirit Award goes to Mural Committee Member and Graphic Designer Bob Faust. As project manager, Bob employed his graphic design skills to present the project to the Bank and to the public in a clear, compelling, and professional manner. He interfaced with the Village, the Realtor’s contractors, Riverside Brookfield High School, the Arts Center, and the many vendors who donated services and materials to ensure all the elements came together.

The 4th Olmsted Spirit Award goes to the Village of Riverside. We would like to recognize the entire board of Trustees for their unanimous support of the Mural Project. Village President Mike Gorman rolled up his sleeves and interfaced with the Realtor and PrinsBank to encourage the bank to take responsibility for the cost of the improved board-up and to allow the expression of public art on a privately owned building. Village Manager Peter Scalera, village staff, and members of the Public Works department helped the project succeed along the way. Accepting the award on behalf of all involved at the Village of Riverside was Village President Michael Gorman.