For most business owners a small, awkwardly shaped room where no walls measure the same size would not be the dream location to open up shop.
But for Sarah Beth Woods, the peculiar, triangular space nestled inside the 140-year-old building at 42 East Ave. in Riverside was just the right fit.
Triangle — the tongue-in-cheek, aptly named business — had its soft grand opening last month as a space Woods best describes as a hybrid art gallery/studio space focused on sculpture, 16 mm film and a fusion of local and international artwork.
“I am calling Triangle a project space,” Woods said. “It’s not quite as fancy as a gallery.”
Woods, a Berwyn resident, decided to open her art business in downtown Riverside partly because of feedback from friend and fellow Berwyn artist Shilin Hora, who opened art boutique The Seed in the same building in December.
“We love the foot traffic [in downtown Riverside],” Woods said. “It’s such a walkable area. It just seemed like a perfect spot. Even when you look into it, it almost looks like a gallery, with the lighting and being a smaller space.”
Despite the uncertainties in the business world during a pandemic, Woods also said the other thing encouraging her to open her business now?
“I just went on faith,” she said.
With a focus on contemporary art, Woods says what sets Triangle apart from anything else in the area is the fact that the space not only showcases art, but fosters a love for oft-neglected art forms.
“I think it’s not only contemporary artwork, but it’s different from what a lot of the galleries in Chicago are doing,” she said. “It’s different from anything you’re going to find in any of the suburbs. It’s high art, but I hope guests can come have a positive experience.”
For example, with Triangle’s emphasis on the history and art behind 16 mm filmmaking, Woods wants to show people that despite living in the digital, social media age, film is not a dying art and can be a wonderful way for people to reconnect with the artistic storytelling methods behind making movies, both amateur and professional.
Triangle’s next show, running throughout the month of June, will feature the work Riverside Arts Center Freeark Gallery director Stephanie Brooks, an Oak Park resident whose conceptual artworks have been featured nationally and internationally, including most notably at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago and New York City’s Whitney Museum of American Art.
Woods, who comes to Riverside with her experiences as a teacher of sculpture at Wheaton College and K-8 art teacher throughout Chicago’s West Side and North Lawndale communities, will also be offering workshops, classes and film screenings for both adults and teens this summer at Triangle.
Throughout the spring, Triangle is open on Saturdays from 1 to 6 p.m. Summer hours will be Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 1 to 6 p.m.
For more information about Triangle, including sign-ups for workshops and gallery viewings, visit Triangle’s Facebook page or email Woods at firstname.lastname@example.org.